Malice through the looking glass: What if Israel behaved like other Mid-East nations?

A guest post by Joe Geary

NEWS: Middle East

Good evening.

In the usual weekly display of anti-Iranian feeling, thousands of Israelis poured into the streets of Tel Aviv after Saturday prayers, chanting “Death to Iran, Death to Islam” and burning effigies of President Rouhani and John Kerry.

We are hearing reports of several dead and dozens injured as five Christian churches have been attacked and set on fire by a Jewish mob in central Jerusalem after allegations that an Israeli Christian claimed to be the Prophet Moses. The man was arrested before he could be lynched. Doctors say he suffers from severe mental problems but could still face stoning if found guilty under Israel’s strict blasphemy laws.

Scenes of jubilation, music mingling with gunshots,  were witnessed all over the Israeli town of Ashdod as Mr Avi Sand returned there after serving four years in prison for murdering an entire Arab family, including two young children and a three-month old baby. The town’s Mayor declared a Day of Celebration for his return. Flowers and sweets were distributed among the children in his honour. His poster could be seen on walls alongside other celebrated Israeli militants who had killed Arab civilians in recent years.

The Israeli Prime Minister has reiterated yet again his firm line on the fate of Muslims in the future state of Israel, following any successfully negotiated two-State peace talks. “Muslims have no right to live on this side of the border” he told the collected journalists. “We will not tolerate a single Arab on the Holy soil of Israel. Israel must be Muslim-frei.”

An Education Ministry inspection of a number of Jewish schools has revealed that Jewish children as young as five are routinely being taught not only that the whole of Palestine belongs to the Jews, but also that the Arabs who live there are descended from pigs and apes. A spokesman for the Ministry told the press: “They are only innocent animal stories for children, a bit like Aesop’s Fables”.

A group of Arab NGOs, the Red Crescent and UNWRA issued a joint statement today condemning the continued firing of rockets from Gaza into Israeli civilian centres, which they described as “war crimes”. “We deplore not only the loss of life but the terrible psychological trauma inflicted in particular on the children by these constant acts of barbarity”, a spokesman told us.  Along with a number of sympathetic Western NGOs such as War on Want and Save the Children, they are documenting crimes against civilians which will help bring a case against Hamas at The Hague of preaching genocide.

In other news, the UN is expected later today to pass a motion condemning fifteen Arab states for human rights abuses including the enslavement of foreign workers, religious and gender apartheid and the widespread, indiscriminate use of torture and the death penalty.  The Head of the Arab League was heard earlier to remark: “They have us bang to rights. All this has being going on for far too long. Well, forever, actually. It has to stop.”

And finally, on a lighter note, several witnesses are claiming to have seen what they describe as a pig slowly flapping its wings over the offices of the BBC and the Guardian newspaper in central London.

Well, some people will believe anything, won’t they?

Good night.

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CiF Watch exclusive: Yet another modest proposal for a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign

A guest post by Joe Geary

In a move widely expected to spark considerable controversy, one of the UK’s leading university unions, the National Union of Teachers, Trainers and Education Research Staff (known cheekily by some rebels within the union as ‘NUTTERS’) will announce a proposal that Britain’s university teachers and researchers take the unusual step of boycotting themselves.

 A spokesperson for the union told CiF Watch the following:

“We realise this may seem drastic, but the gravity of the crimes being committed in the name of UK universities leaves us no choice. We have reliable information that several UK universities have collaboration programmes with educational facilities in such anti-democratic, misogynistic and apartheid states such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. We also know of several other British institutions which have received substantial donations from such puppet organisations as the Qatari Foundation and the King Faisal Institute. The LSE alone received around £4 million from the Gaddafi Foundation, half of which in return for a dodgy PhD award to Saïf Gaddafi, currently under investigation for war crimes. We demand the LSE return the money to the Libyan people, sack all its staff and close itself down for its role in crimes against humanity. To cap it all, we know of no single leading UK academic who has denounced Britain’s role in NATO’s atrocities against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, who are asking simply to be left to practice their religion unmolested. By the way, we shall also be demanding the return of the Malvinas to Argentina and of Gibraltar to Spain, and that Northern Ireland and Glasgow be placed under the jurisdiction of UN peacekeepers (at least on Saturday nights)”.

What would be the practical implications of such a boycott, we asked.

“Instead of their usual boring lectures on the implications of the Higgs Boson, we shall be asking our members to use their time more productively by sanctimoniously denouncing the evils of British foreign policy. Instead of researching drugs to combat Alzheimer’s and other Jewish-sounding diseases, we shall be urging them to write rambling joint letters of protest to the Guardian”.

What happened to the old anti-Israel obsession, we were curious to know.

“Oh we’re still boycotting Israelis.  It’s just that it doesn’t seem to have much effect – they still keep on inventing cool technology and life saving medical devices, and winning international prizes and stuff.  In fact the number of boycott fails in recent years would suggest that the Jews – perhaps because of their collective experience dealing with similar discriminatory campaigns throughout history – have built up some sort of immunity to BDS campaigns.  So, we figured we could redirect our malign obsession in another (hopefully more effective) non-Semitic direction. 

A letter to CiF Watch from the Guardian, via King Ahasuerus?

logo

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr Levick,

I am writing to inform you that we have been reviewing our codes of practice at ‘Comment is Free’ and have decided that closing your account and deleting your previous comments was unjustified.  We have therefore decided to re-open your account. Unfortunately your previous comments have already been removed from our systems and cannot be returned, but we would be happy to have you return to the below the line commentary.

Furthermore:

In the course of our review we came to several conclusions with regards to the character of the above the line writers at ‘Comment is Free’ and have reached a number of conclusions:

  1. We shall no longer be publishing commentary from contributors associated with terrorist groups.
  2. We will be seeking a greater breadth of above the line copy, including more commentary from Zionists.
  3. Our moderators have been instructed to adhere to the working definition of anti-Semitism as laid out by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and to delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.  We have asked the Community Security Trust for help in this regard.

In short Mr Levick, thanks to organisations such as CiF Watch we have decided to fundamentally alter the way we approach contributions to ‘Comment is Free’ and the way that we deal with below the line comments.

Yours Sincerely

Natalie Hanman

Editor, ‘Comment is Free’ 

 

(This Purim Spiel was written by Marc Goldberg)

Revealed: CIA is reading your mail!

A guest post by Green Glenwald

purimAs part of my ongoing series about the way the CIA, the Mossad, the Zionists, the Obama administration, MSNBC, The New York Times, the Washington Post and the little green people under your bed are controlling your lives, this revelation should finally lay any doubts you might have to rest.

The CIA is reading your mail! 

Yes – the CIA, not content with sending drones from Afghanistan to Mali to kill innocent civilians, are using them to intercept the letters you should have received that contain tips for dodging their illegal activities and keeping your RPGs and human shields safe!

Without a doubt this represents the most outrageous proof of the prima facie illegal, warrantless mail-tapping, contrary to the Geneva conventions and international law (which only applies to the USA and Israel) that is one of the disgusting hallmarks of this administration and its relentless attempts to keep America insecure by creating thousands of new terrorist postmen.

This is happening under the direct management, right from the top, of the most evil administration this country has known. Wikileaks revealed, and now we have proof, that there are weekly meetings at the White House in what the people running this program call “the mailroom” (something they find amusing, no doubt) where the President himself selects the mail that will be intercepted and read.

A source on an unknown Internet TV channel where I appear weekly (we keep it secret so that the CIA and others cannot watch it and I can post little videos of myself talking to myself in this column) has revealed that Obama’s poor performance during the first debate with Mitt Romney was due to the fact that he was not trying to read his talking points, as many have assumed, but debating with himself as to which envelope he should open first.

As I learned in law school:

headline

… any person who—

…. knows, or has reason to know, that such device or any component thereof has been sent through the mail or transported in interstate or foreign commerce; or

(iv) such use or endeavor to use (A) takes place on the premises of any business or other commercial establishment the operations of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or (B) obtains or is for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the operations of any business or other commercial establishment the operations of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or

(v) such person acts in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States;

The President (who live in the District of Columbia, in case you did not know that) is clearly in violation of allowing al Qaeda to continue its regular business operations pursuant to the very laws he is sworn to uphold and should  be impeached.

Update:

Following publication of this article, I was asked for advice on how to defeat this program.

In case your envelope has been intercepted, here are a couple of tips from one that made it past the CIA’s illegal mail-tapping that have proven useful:

The document includes advice such as “hide under thick trees” (believed to be bin Laden’s contribution), and instructions for setting up a “fake gathering” using dolls to “mislead the enemy”. 

If dolls are not available in your cave or under your tree, make use of the local population – local women and children are convincing alternatives you should use to keep yourself safe.

 Happy Purim!

UN and EU leaders to condemn Palestinians for incitement to terrorism

euThe four European members of the United Nations security council are drawing up a strong joint condemnation of recent Palestinian acts of terrorist incitement amid growing international censure.

The unusual statement, expected this week from the UK, France, Germany and Portugal, follows blunt criticism from the US of official PA radio broadcast of songs explicitly encouraging Palestinians to engage in deadly suicide bombings against Israelis.  

Western leaders were especially incensed that such incitement was aired a mere two days after ‘Palestine’ was granted observer status at the UN.  The statement also condemned recent videos broadcast by Hamas, on Al-Aqsa TV, describing the killing of Jews as “a religious act in worship of Allah”.

US state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said: “We are deeply disappointed that the Palestinians insists on continuing this pattern of provocative action. These repeated government sanctioned calls for murder run counter to the cause of peace.  Many Palestinian leaders continually say that they support a path towards a two-state solution, yet these actions only put that goal further at risk.”

William Hague, the British foreign secretary, urged Palestinians not to approve such broadcasts, saying that if they continue “it would make a negotiated two-state solution very difficult to achieve”.  Government sanctioned calls to murder civilians are “illegal under international human rights law”, he added.

French officials also sharply condemned the Palestinian acts describing them as unacceptable behavior for those seeking to join the family of nations.

According to the US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, all members of the 15-strong security council will add their weight to international condemnation following the council’s next Middle East meeting. The security council will condemn Palestinian calls to kills Jews as morally beyond the pale.

On Tuesday, the general assembly passed a non-binding resolution condemning homicidal Palestinian antisemitism by 196 votes to six.

The official encouragement by the PA for Palestinian citizens to use suicide belts to bomb crowded Israeli bus stops and cafes follows a similar row in November over the official praise by PA leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas, for the suicide attacks, and other acts of terror, which were planned by slain Hamas military chief Ahmed Al-Ja’abari.

A major diplomatic crisis between the Palestinians and the EU erupted when the PA refused to condemn past statements by Jabari considered inflammatory and inimical to peace to most Western leaders, which included: “The Jew who comes to the soil of Palestine… is fighting us, and we will fight him and kill him”, “Sacrifice your souls for the sake of Allah, until the rats (i.e., Israelis) return to their holes”, and “Haifa, Jaffa, and Tel Aviv… all of Palestine will be liberated.” 

State sponsored Palestinian incitement has been vigorously opposed by the EU for many years as it erodes hope for an eventual two-state solution by sending Israelis the message that Palestinians don’t actually want to live in peace with the Jewish state within any borders.

(This is a fictional report inspired by a real story published by Harriet Sherwood in the Guardian titled ‘UN security council’s EU members to condemn Israeli settlements expansion‘, Dec. 19.)

Guardian fails to take home top prize at 2012 Dishonest Reporting Awards

It just wasn’t their year.

Oh, how they tried to repeat the performance which earned them the 2011 HonestReporting Dishonest Reporting Award‘, but it simply wasn’t to be.

Though the Guardian failed to take home the top prize this year, they did receive less high-profile awards for their denial of reality itself (Biggest Train Wreck Over Principle: The Guardian, and UK Press Complaints Commission) by telling readers that Tel Aviv was Israel’s capital, as well one for most antisemitic cartoon (Most Anti-Semitic-Themed Cartoon: Steve Bell, The Guardian) for a depiction of feckless, slavish British leaders being controlled like a puppet by Israel’s Prime Minister.

While this year’s winner, Haaretz’s Gideon Levy, indeed deserves credit for a very compelling polemical performance in attempting to convince readers that Israelis support apartheid, the Guardian’s body of deceit for the year was, at least in the eyes of this blogger,  impressive nonetheless.

The Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, interviewed after being informed by HonestReporting’s judges that their media group lost the coveted award, said the following:

“Though it’s rare for a media institution to take home two Dishonest Reporting prizes in a row, we really thought our overall anti-Israel bias was the most effective in a very crowded anti-Zionist field, and should have won.  In addition to elevating Tel Aviv to the status of Israel’s capital, and publishing a cartoon indistinguishable from what’s found in the most Judeophobic Arab media, I’m also quite proud of the work done by Chris McGreal, whose characterization of the US relationship with Israel as ‘slave-like’ earned him a coveted spot in CST’s 2011 Report on Antisemitic Discourse. 

And, naturally, we thought that the buzz over Deborah Orr’s pejorative reference to Jews as ‘The Chosen People’ would also get the judges attention. 

Overall we had a great year of obsessively dishonest reporting about Jews and Israel and, while we congratulate Gideon Levy for his simply sublime smear of the Jewish state, we respectfully believe that the award academy overlooked our overall body of work. After all, we literally wrote the book on how to avoid reporting fairly about Israel and making antisemitism respectable among the liberal elite.”

academy

Rusbridger and Levy react to Dishonest Reporting Award announcement

An alternative future for Middle Eastern refugees

A guest post by AKUS

Washington Post, August 26, 2012: Sharp increase in refugee flows from Syria

The closure [of the Turkish border] left more than 7,000 refugees stranded in olive groves just inside Syria at the two places where most of the Syrians cross, while Turkish officials look for a way to accommodate them at camps that can’t keep pace with the influx. … But with more than 80,000 refugees in Turkey, nearly double the number a month ago, officials warned that the country is rapidly approaching the point at which it will no longer be able to cope … The number of refugees being accommodated by Syria’s neighbors has already outstripped the United Nations’ projection of 185,000 by the end of the year, with more than 200,000 registered in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon as of Friday. The number in Turkey has climbed by 10,000 since Turkey’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, warned a week ago that Turkey would press for international action if the figure passed 100,000. The latest arrivals suggest that threshold could be reached within weeks, if not days.

Washington Cyberpost, August 26, 2072: UNSCOSR Budget must increase to serve needs of Syrian refugees

The UN Special Commission on Syrian Refugees, UNSCOSR, issued a warning that its budget was no longer sufficient to feed, clothe and house the Syrian refugees living in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.  Commissioner George Galloway Jr. stated in June:

Since the UN agreed in 2015 to follow UNRWA protocol and to award perpetual refugee status to those who fled Syria in the upheavals of 2012, and to their descendents, the number of refugees which was estimated at approximately 350,000 by mid-2013 when Iran took control of Syria now numbers approximately 3.5 million. All efforts during the last six decades to persuade the Sunni-led government, which, with Iranian support has controlled Syria since that time, to allow refugees to return to their homes have failed. The Syrian government says it cannot afford to take back a group of people who left the country 60 years ago. Our efforts to reach accommodation on budget sharing with UNRWA, which is responsible for the feeding, clothing, and housing of approximately 25 million Palestinian refugees have not yielded any results.

UNSCORS’ Year 2072 budget of $35 billion dollars is stretched to the limit, UNSCOSR claims. Its need for 2073 is for $42 billion, based on a budget of $12,000 per refugee for clothes and special programs similar to those managed by UNRWA for the last 124 years.

UNRWA has an estimated budget of approximately $400 billion dollars, compared to its 2011 budget (the last time budget numbers were published) of $1.2 billion. This is due to natural increase from 7 million people to 35 million still considered refugees despite attempts at encouraging birth control, and inflation that averaged 4% during the last 60 years. Inflation has necessitated the payment to Palestinians per capita from about $1,000 annually to $12,000 per capita. It represents approximately 35% of the total UN budget.

This year rioting in the streets of Oslo and Stockholm forced the governments  of Norway and Sweden to rescind the laws instituted in 2025 following a referendum that made it compulsory to provide funding, without limitation, to UNRWA after the USA, UK, Germany and France decided that they would only provide funding to refugees who had actually left homes in 1948 Palestine and not to their descendents.  By 2035, the last refugee meeting that definition had passed away, and no funds have been received since from those countries. Thus UNRWA is also finding funding inadequate. Some estimates for UNRWA’s budget requirements run as high as $1 trillion ten years from now, squeezing out aid to all other UN relief agencies as it passes the 50% mark for all UN activities.

While this Scandinavian refusal to continue funding UNRWA might have been assumed to free up funds for Syrian refugees, the same demand has been made to reduce funding to the Syrian refugees so no additional funding has become available from that source.

Arab states that initially supported the Syrian refugees have stated that they can no longer afford to do so. Their oil reserves have greatly diminished, reducing their ability to support their growing and largely unemployed populations.  The use of alternative energy sources in the developed countries of North America, Europe, and the Far East coupled with the enormous reserves of shale oil and natural gas discovered in North America, Siberia and China have drastically reduced demand and therefore prices and thus their ability to provide much-needed aid to Syrian refugees.

In addition, China has preferred to provide funding to the African countries, where starvation and warfare continue to make it difficult to tap the immense natural resources of the continent. These resources are necessary for China’s huge nano-electronic business  and the special materials used in building asteroid mining spaceships critical to China’s high-tech economy. All efforts to encourage the Chinese to broaden their assistance to Syrian refugees have been met with refusal.

One bright spot is that Jordan’s success in developing its agricultural sector with Israeli assistance has somewhat reduced the risk of the kind of starvation for refugees in its territory that can be seen in Africa. In addition, Israel no longer has to send supplies to Gaza since Egypt’s UN-brokered annexation of that territory in 2017 and the disbanding of Hamas. It has allocated that portion of its budget to shipping food to refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. Turkey has yet to follow suit, claiming that the Egyptian annexation of Gaza was an illegal deal between Israel and Egypt that has no standing under international law.

However, Israel, while recognizing that it has a regional interest in settling the Syrian refugee problem, maintains that the cost of feeding its largely unemployed religious community without UN assistance has become prohibitive. The Israelis have not agreed to continue to contribute additional funds  to UNRWA or UNSCOSR (except for shipping food and medical supplies as stated) as they did for a few years in exchange for the Egyptian annexation of Gaza given the reduction in defense spending that followed the annexation. Turkey has prevented various aid shipments and flotillas from European countries from passing through its territory. It has tied any progress on that front to acceptance as a member of the EU.

Those who fled Syria and their descendents now live as stateless citizens in dismal camps along Syria’s borders.  Competition for work with Palestinian refugees which started even as early as 2012 for waste disposal positions, traditionally given to those living in the camps, has led to tensions and factional fighting between the two groups. Decades of enforced idleness, lack of opportunity and education, continuing denial of women’s rights, and a high birth rate have only exacerbated the challenges facing these unfortunate people despite UNSCOSR’s best efforts.

Given the similarity of the challenges facing the two refugee groups, and the identical regulatory framework in which UNSCOSR and UNRWA operate that demands that all descendents of the original refugees continue to be maintained as refugees, UNSCOSR has requested a special session of the General Assembly be convened to discuss how to meet the pending budgetary, and therefore humanitarian, crisis among those it has been looking after for the last six decades. If no additional funding is available, it proposes that the UN combine the budgets of UNSCOSR and UNRWA and share the total based on an equal per capita allocation.

This proposal has been vigorously opposed by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority from its headquarters in Lichtenstein and by members of the Palestinian Solidarity Councils in Britain, the US, and South Africa. A spokeswoman for the Fatah Resistance faction of the PA wrote in an op-ed in the New York Guardian (formed through the simultaneous bankruptcy of the NYT and the Guardian UK, then purchased in 2014 by the PA to act as its media arm using funds provided by UNRWA as part of its support for Palestinian cultural activities) that until the Palestinian refugees are returned to their homes in Palestine not a cent will be taken from UNRWA’s budget. The PA insists that the budget for its refugees in the Middle East will continue to be administered from its Budget Office in Lichtenstein.

Commissioner Galloway Jr. of UNSCOSR stated:

 “We at UNSCOSR, however, believe the same logic applies to our refugees, and will continue to propose equitable allocation of funds for Arab refugees in the Middle East”.

Israel has objected to the use of the term “Arab refugees”, claiming that Jewish refugees from Arab countries should also be included in this allocation of funds. The special session is expected to take place at Durban 33, to be held in Tehran next year, where a motion has been put forward condemning Israel for not intervening in Syria in 2012. The USA has announced it will not attend, an action condemned by the EU and Zimbabwe.

A Modern Fairy Tale, inspired by ‘Comment is Free’

Once upon a time there was a boy called Mardy,* who was an average student but was not popular at school, mainly because of the way his father, a single parent whose wife left him, had raised him. 

Mardy was brought up to believe that he was naturally superior to everyone else and that it was fine for him to “defend” himself by getting his retaliation in first.  His father’s rationale was that it worked well for him when he had been at school and made people fearful of offending him, but Mardy would do this unthinkingly, far too often and inappropriately.  Far from making other pupils afraid to offend him, his failure to apply it more carefully meant that his aggressive behaviour made them increasingly annoyed and they made no secret of it.

A while ago Mardy was hauled before the Principal because of a gratuitously offensive essay he had written about the inferior status of girls which he circulated at school, no doubt to try to curry favour with the top dogs there.  He told the principal that his father had read the essay and agreed with it and could not understand what all the fuss was about.  Mardy’s father accompanied him to the principal’s office, where he was advised to write an appropriate apology for the offence he had caused, which would be similarly circulated. 

He flatly refused, arguing that the article was true and many of his mates believed it.   His father, of course, sided with Mardy against the principal – who, unfortunately, was far too weak to stand up for himself – and accused the principal of bullying his son.

The result was that Mardy was not punished for what he wrote, nor was he forced to apologise.  No-one forgot it, not least because he did not allow them to do so, and he subsequently become even more arrogant and big-headed and hostile towards girls. 

Every time the essay was referred to at school he’d go running home to his dad, complaining that he was being bullied.  Dad made countless visits to the school and even threatened the Principal, which resulted in the entire school community being warned to leave Mardy alone.  Far from helping matters it made them much worse.  

The pupils were furious that the Principal was so spineless as to grant Mardy special protected status.  Mardy and his father took away the entirely the wrong message, so Mardy’s behaviour towards the girls in his class, and towards female teachers, became even more obnoxious, and matters escalated culminating in a week where he was shunned totally even by the same top dogs who were initially impressed.

His Facebook page became the focus of calls for him to leave the school and there was a demonstration outside the Principal’s office to have him permanently excluded.

But nothing changed. The Principal remained weak, and the more people disagreed with Mardy the more obnoxious and verbally abusive he became and the more open he was about his hatred of girls and women.

Finally, a group of parents involved the school governors, who ordered Mardy to attend a special meeting in order to explain himself and provide reasons why he should not be permanently excluded from the school.

I wish that I could say that Mardy learned his lesson from this confrontation and that everyone then lived happily ever after, but Mardy attended the meeting and, far from being rude, was embarrassingly self-pitying.  He said that it was plain that “everyone was against him” but that his essay had been fair comment and “everyone knew” that it was true so why should he apologise for telling the truth?  

No matter how reasonable and keen to understand him were the school governors, the more belligerently self-pitying Mardy became – and was devastated and infuriated by turns when they found his behaviour so unfitting that he was excluded permanently from their school.

What conclusion can be drawn from this story?

We know that life sometimes imitates what passes for art.

For a true account, which mirrors this fairy tale, see here

For an insight into the damage done by an overprotective father figure see here.

Also, see CiF Watch’s post on the overprotective father, here.

*(“Mard” is a northern English term for wimpish)

The checkpoints at Jabal Tariq and Jerusalem Day

A guest post by AKUS 

News item:

“The queues of cars waiting to cross from the tiny 2.6 sq mile territory into [the neighboring country] have lengthened dramatically in the last week, as … border patrols have been ordered to make things more difficult for motorists and workers, increasing security checks in a move condemned … as “childish”.

No, this is not from another article about the attempt to prevent terrorists entering Jerusalem.  Nor is the territory in question “Al Kuds”.

It is Jabal Tariq – i.e. Gibraltar – and the neighboring country manning the checkpoints is, of course, Spain. And where better to read about the issue of checkpoints than in The Observer: Gibraltar’s jubilee party sends signal to Madrid .

The reason for the Spanish crackdown is the celebration of the British Monarch’s Jubilee. The Jubilee is being celebrated with particular emphasis in Gibraltar, which was ceded under the Treaty of Utrecht to the British in 1713 by the Dutch, who won the War of the Spanish Succession – whatever that was – which probably had a lot to do with royal jewels and possibly ‘strategic marriage’.

Even worse – Gibraltar – I meant to say the fourth most sacred rock in Islam, Jabal Tariq – was  captured from the Caliphate by the Spanish in 1462 – almost 700 years ago.

Of course, history would not be the same without the Jews.  Yes, it appears to be the case that the Spanish used their mandatory powers to sell the holy territory of Jabal Tariq to Jews in 1474.  

I am not about to check the following, except to note that Spain pulled a particularly dirty trick on the Jews two years later in 1476. In fact, Spain should be using the UN and EU and UNHRC and Amnesty International to force Britain to hand over גברלטר  to those to whom Spain sold it then stole it back.

After the conquest, King Henry IV assumed the title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the municipal area of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. Six years later Gibraltar was restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia who sold it in 1474 to a group of Jewish conversos from Cordova and Seville in exchange for maintaining the garrison of the town for two years, after which time the 4,350 Jews were expelled by the Duke as part of the Inquisition.

But as we celebrate Jerusalem Day, the next time the a member of Spanish government  has something to say about checkpoints, or Catherine Ashton has something to say about the “occupation”, I will grimly mutter “Tariq Jabal and Utrecht”.

And if, 700 years from now, anti-Zionist activists are still trying to divide Jerusalem (or call it Al Kuds), or the EU is still going on about the plight of the millions of stateless Palestinian refugees and UNRWA’s budget has swallowed up more resources which could be  better spent on developing countries, I hope there will be some blogger also whispering the magic words on Jerusalem Day: “A Tariq Jabal and Utrecht to your Al Kuds and Oslo”.

Comment is (apparently far from) Free.

Many a CiF Watcher landed on these pages as a result of having been censored, banned or both on the Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ website and therefore has first-hand experience of just how ‘free’ comment there actually is. But an aspect of the title we do not often address in relation to the Guardian’s website is the financial one. It now appears that far from being free, comment may actually be downright expensive. 

Guardian writer Ally Fogg, in a piece from April 26th, raised the subject of a recent article in the New Statesman which estimates that the Guardian spends half a million pounds a year keeping ‘Comment is Free’ going. 

“One of the most active cheerleaders of commenting is the Guardian, which employs a dozen or so moderators, plus another dozen “community co-ordinators” who monitor Facebook, Twitter, Tumblrs and so on (the paper doesn’t give out an exact number). Assuming these people are on a modest £20,000 each, that’s nearly half a million pounds a year spent on making sure that the “community” – 1 per cent of readers – is well-served.”

Whether or not the New Statesman’s calculations are correct is anyone’s guess; Ally Fogg isn’t telling. But he does claim to have identified some vacancies in CiF’s stable of commenters. 

Of course the Guardian’s dire financial straits are common knowledge, with the paper (together with the Observer) having reported losses of £33 million in 2010 and £34.4 million in 2009. 

So, taking Ally Fogg’s idea one step further, perhaps the Guardian could recuperate some of its losses by hiring out its existing regular commenters to other blogs and websites seeking to up their traffic. The advert might go something like this: 

Rent-a-comment: exclusive GMG service takes care of all your weblog commenting needs. Our reservoir of experienced commenters includes:

The former ISMer:

His expertise is the spinning of tear-jerking yarns about his jaunts to the West Bank, featuring evocative descriptions of Palestinian cuisine and hospitality, the ‘apartheid wall’, settlements which expand faster than the speed of light and 7 foot tall Israeli soldiers. Can throw in the odd word of cod-Arabic for added authenticity and has a suitably progressive profile photo featuring himself in a Viva Palestina T-shirt personally signed by George Galloway.

The amateur expert on International Law: 

Able to instantly prove any political point necessary by means of an unreferenced and/or misquoted clause from the annals of hallowed ‘international law’.  OK – he’s actually a community organiser in real life, but he did read the entire works of Ilan Pappe on his last summer holiday and once went to a talk by Daniel Machover. 

The dictator apologist: 

Cut his commenting teeth at Socialist Unity and gained added credits at the knee of Simon Tisdall. Post-colonial guilt, anti-Americanism and cultural relativism added liberally to every comment at no extra charge. 

The ‘asaJew’ anti-Zionist: 

Invaluable when the credibility of wobbly claims such as ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘apartheid’ is questioned. Can always be relied upon to lend ethnically-authentic support to the claim that ‘critics of Israel are invariably accused of anti-Semitism’. Conveniently located in north London and thus able to give first-hand accounts of Palestine Solidarity Campaign candle-lit vigils and Christmas carol services,  (except on Mondays when she’s at Friends House and Thursdays – volunteers at the Islington Interfaith Circle knitting raincoats out of recycled plastic bags for the Negev Bedouin).

The conspiracy theorist:

9/11? The financial crisis and the banks’ lost millions? Control of politicians and the media? Organ harvesting? He always knows who really dunnit. Prefers to be described as an ‘independent thinker’ (got that idea from David Miller at ‘SpinWatch’) and makes particularly proficient use of the words ‘sheeple’ and ‘hasbara’. 

The BDSer:

Since finding BDS (and getting a new asymmetric hairdo) her cup runneth over. No more boring bring and buys and flower-arranging at church for her: now it’s international fame and glory on the pages of the ‘Friends of Sabeel’ newsletter (circulation 493) and jazzy acronyms such as EAPPI. Almost takes her back to her ‘Age of Aquarius’ halcyon days… that keffiyah makes her feel so young and alive. But of course it’s not about her: everyone knows that this is the defining issue of our times and – as she was telling the hairdresser the other day, just before she went off with the girls to get filmed protesting about cherry tomatoes in Tescos – we all have to do our bit. 

On second thoughts, maybe relying on Auto Trader isn’t such a bad plan after all… 

Guardian cancels global memorial service for killed chickens

A guest post by AKUS

The Guardian has cancelled its plans to hold a global memorial service that would demonstrate the unspeakable cruelty of Israel towards chickens.

The plan, hatched, so to speak, by Harriet (ChickenLady) Sherwood was to be conducted in the Guardian’s London headquarters, with video links to Sherwood in Jerusalem and Chris McGreal in Washington, DC. and broadcast over YouTube and the BBC with an uplink to Al Jazeera

Seamus Milne was to provide kaddish by singing the Chicken Internationale:

Stand up, cooped up of the Earth
Stand up, prisoners of the coops
Reason thunders in its volcano
This is the eruption of the end
Of the past let us make a clean slate
Enslaved chickens, stand up, stand up

While Mr. Milne was intoning the kaddish, a picture of chickens cooped up in Beijing provided by the ChickenLady was to be broadcast to demonstrate the evils of chicken-raising in Israel:

The picture below from another unnamed Asian country was to be used to illustrate the horror of the way chickens are relentlessly slaughtered by Israel.  Even though this also has nothing to do with Israeli chickens it clearly makes the point about Israeli cruelty to chickens:

At the last moment the global memorial service was cancelled when Ma’ariv reported that the dead were Israeli chickens killed by one of the few Palestinian Grad rockets fired from Gaza that Iron Dome failed to intercept. It was felt that revealing the source of the rocket and the nationality of the dead would be damaging to the call for a one-state solution for all chickens.

A message intercepted by Chickileaks reveals that the next article on Comment is Free will point out that “Only one hundred and twenty of the thousands of rockets Hamas has have been fired at random into Israeli civilian centers so far in response to at least six carefully focused Israeli air raids, and Hamas’ restraint is to be commended”.

According to the Chickileaks e-mail Sherwood is refusing to return to Gaza to look for dead Arab chickens until Israel “ends its relentless, disproportionate and unfair reprisals” for rocket attacks into its towns so that the ceremony can be reinstated .

JFFS (Jews For a Free Scotland) Supports A Million Jew March on Edinburgh

A guest post by AKUS

I have always felt disadvantaged by not having a cause for which I can claim to be an activist. I’ve always wondered where that college or university is that hands out those degrees in “activism” or “human rights-ism” that so many who own computers seem to claim.

Well, thanks to the Washington Post, Scotland moves toward vote on independence, I’ve found a cause I can support as an activist – freedom from the British occupation of Scotland.

I can activize for the poor Scots – a small, much maligned group, even though some have been infiltrated by foreign elements such as the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (Scotland) and the City Council of down-trodden little towns like Dumbarton which are more concerned about the Arabs on the West Bank than the centuries-long suffering of the Scots under the British jackboot, to use a phrase culled one from the Guardian’s one-time favorite contributors.

Actually, not only am I supporting the cause – I have created my own movement – Jews For a Free Scotland, aka JFFS.

(You may wonder why a Jew with no connection to Scotland is concerned about Scottish independence and suffering.  Well, if Scots can worry about the Palestinians, isn’t it time that “as-a-Jew” I worried about the Scots? We can’t rely only on the bicycle riders to do so.)

I originally thought the pool from which I want to draw my activist support would be more clearly understood if I called my movement JewsFFS but I know there are the cruder minds who might misinterpret the last three letters, so had to go for the briefer JFFS. Such is life in the world of NGO acronymology. However, as a benefit, JFFS is short and the “J” is probably clear to all activists and human rights people. No-one would misinterpret “IJV” as “Idiotic Jewish Voices” just because that group of three or four liberal Jews wants to destroy Israel.

As the first step, so to speak, my movement is going to create and promote the “Million Jew March on Edinburgh” (“MJME”, pronounced “MiJeMe”, for short). If I can raise the funds (donate via CiFWatch), I will soon be coming to a city near you wearing a tartan tallit to skirl up support for the Million Jew March on Edinburgh. I have created a banner for the cause:

 

(In case, like most people who can’t find Israel on a map, you do not know where Scotland is, it’s the shown here as the reddish tartan area on the background of a green tartan sea at the top of England. It’s been occupied by Britain since about the time of Edward the Confessor, though formally incorporated in 1707. England insists on showing it on a map from La Manche to the Scandinavian Sea as part of what Queen Anne of Scotland referred to as the one-state solution. There are also enclaves of occupied Welsh and Irish people crammed into two of the world’s largest and miserably wet open-air prisons to the West of England).

We (well, I, at this time) encourage Scots of all clans and faiths, to join our (well, my) Million Jew March on Edinburgh (MJME). We are a democratic movement open to all activists and human rights organizers who are dedicated to the overthrow of the British occupation of Scotland and who feel the Scots, like the Jews, deserve a state of their own.

I specially call on liberal British Jews such as the Roses, the Klugs, Tony Lerman, Jonathan Freedland, etc. for support and contributions (monetary) for the MJME.

The movement is also open to groups such as “Scottish Jews For A Just Peace”, (SJJP – yes, you know what one of the “J”s stands for!) since “as-Jews” they should extend their support from merely supporting remote Palestinian causes (“Jewish opinions critical of Israeli policy to be heard in Scotland”) to supporting a movement focused on an occupation closer to home: “Jewish opinions critical of British policy to be heard in Scotland”.

Hopefully, numerous two or three-man (and women) Jewish groups who spend so much time worrying about how to destroy Israel and promoting a Million Man March on Jerusalem as their major concern will be able to spare a little thought for those suffering so close to their own homes in Scotland, Hampstead, Oxford, and Cambridge and how to destroy the United Kingdom and join the Million Jew March on Edinburgh.

We (I) draw inspiration from the words of “Scotland-Firster” Alistair Hunter, a 54-year-old nationalist working for the city of Edinburgh quoted in the Washington Post.

“I tell ye, I’m not the kind to wear a kilt at weddings, but I am Scottish before I am British and I know a good many of us want our rightful independence back.”

From Hadrian’s Wall to the North Sea – Scotland Shall be Free!