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Friday, 18 August 2017

The Israeli-Saudi Alliance Deepens as Israel Begins Closing Al Jazeera

As Saudi Arabia Prepares to Execute 14 demonstrators Israel Supports the Saudis in their war against free expression

As Israel's Government Press Office prepares to remove the press credentials of Al Jazeera's correspondent in Jerusalem, Elias Karram, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, there is something quite touching about Israel’s claim to be the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ as it consummates its relationship with Saudi Arabia.  Al Jazeera is quite unique in the Arab world for being a relatively free and independent TV station.  It has produced some excellent documentaries, not least The Lobby which exposed the efforts of the Israeli Embassy, the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel to destabilise Jeremy Corbyn and create a bogus campaign of accusations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Netanyahu has claimed that Al Jazeera is just a front for ISIS, Iran, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.  It was a classic tactic of Nazi propagandists to make the Jews seem responsible for all the ills of society.  They were communists, capitalists, predators etc.  A moments thought would tell you that Isis and Hamas are enemies.  Iran being Shi’ite is likewise opposed to ISIS.  The  Muslim Brotherhood also comes from a different tradition to that of the Salafists.  But combining your enemy into one is the oldest tactic of the demagogue.
Theresa May and her good friend, King Salman of Saudia Arabia - no mention has been made by the Government of this attack on press freedom
Ayoob Kara, the Communications Minister is spearheading the attack on Al Jazeera which is accused of inciting the violence at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.  Nothing to do with the security gates, or the attempts of Jewish settlers to encroach on the area or the attacks of Israeli soldiers on worshippers.
What this should also do is open peoples’ eyes as to the nature of the Israeli state.  All wings of the Zionist movement from Labour to Likud support the attacks on Al Jazeera.  From the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel in this country to supporters of Likud, Zionism is opposed to free speech for its opponents.  In fact Israel has amongst the most restrictive censorship laws in the world.  It is no surprise that the Israeli government thinks it is quite legitimate to close down a recognised and established broadcaster.
Israeli Minister Ayoob Kara seeks to close down Al Jazeera's office in Israel
Ironically Al Jazeera pioneered in the Arab world the use of Israeli spokespersons.  Arab stations have ritually barred access to Israelis as they purport to oppose the Zionist regime.  In practice, as we see with the attempted closure of Al Jazeera, there is a very close alliance between Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.  Both have an interest in closing down all avenues to freedom in the Middle East.  Qatar is no oasis of democracy, far from it, but when sanctions are imposed upon it by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, with the intention of closing down one of the few relatively free broadcasters in the Middle East we  should understand why it is that Israel and the Saudi butchers are singing from the same hymn sheet.

Despite its claims to be the Middle East's 'only democracy' Israel constantly allies itself with the most entrenched and bitter opponents of freedom in the region.  From Egypt under Sisi to King Salmon's Saudi Arabia, not forgetting Bahrain of course.

Below is, as always, an excellent article from the Independent’s Robert Fisk and two other articles, one from Al Jazeera and the other from the Jerusalem Post.

 Tony Greenstein
Al Jazeera offices in  Dhofar

If you're wondering why Saudi Arabia and Israel have united against Al-Jazeera, here's the answer

There are still honourable Israelis who demand a state for the Palestinians; there are well-educated Saudis who object to the crazed Wahabism upon which their kingdom is founded; there are millions of Americans, from sea to shining sea, who do not believe that Iran is their enemy nor Saudi Arabia their friend. But the problem today in both East and West is that our governments are not our friends

Robert Fisk 

Theresa May has already suppressed a report so it wouldn’t upset the Saudis. And we wonder why we go to war with the Middle East AFP

When Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel has both the Saudis and the Israelis demanding its closure, it must be doing something right. To bring Saudi head-choppers and Israeli occupiers into alliance is, after all, something of an achievement.

But don’t get too romantic about this. When the wealthiest Saudis fall ill, they have been known to fly into Tel Aviv on their private jets for treatment in Israel’s finest hospitals. And when Saudi and Israeli fighter-bombers take to the air, you can be sure they’re going to bomb Shiites – in Yemen or Syria respectively – rather than Sunnis.

And when King Salman – or rather Saudi Arabia’s whizz-kid Crown Prince Mohammad – points the finger at Iran as the greatest threat to Gulf security, you can be sure that Bibi Netanyahu will be doing exactly and precisely the same thing, replacing “Gulf security”, of course, with “Israeli security”. But it’s an odd business when the Saudis set the pace of media suppression only to be supported by that beacon of freedom, democracy, human rights and liberty known in song and legend as Israel, or the State of Israel or, as Bibi and his cabinet chums would have it, the Jewish State of Israel.

So let’s run briefly through the latest demonstration of Israeli tolerance towards the freedom of expression that all of us support, nurture, love, adore, regard as a cornerstone of our democracy, and so on, and so on, and so on. For this week, Ayoob Kara, the Israeli communications minister, revealed plans to take away the credentials of Al Jazeera’s Israeli-based journalists, close its Jerusalem bureau and take the station’s broadcasts from local cable and satellite providers.

This, announced Ayoob Kara – an Israeli Druze (and thus an Arab Likud minister) who is a lifelong supporter of the colonisation by Jews of Israeli-occupied Arab land in the West Bank – would “bring a situation that channels based in Israel will report objectively”. In other words, threaten them. Bring them into line.

Bibi Netanyahu long ago accused Al Jazeera of inciting violence in Jerusalem, especially in its reporting of the recent Jerusalem killings – but since just about every foreign journalist in and outside Israel who has dared to be critical of the state has at one time or another been accused of incitement as well as anti-Semitism and other lies, this is just par for the course.

Personally, I have found Al Jazeera’s reporting from Israel pretty pathetic, its fawning reverence for the state all too painfully illustrated when its Qatar anchorwoman expressed to an Israeli government spokesman live on air her channel’s condolences on the death of Ariel Sharon, the monstrous Israeli ex-defence minister who was held responsible for the massacre of up to 1,700 Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacres of 1982.

Ayoob Kara, however, has actually taken his cue from his fellow Arabs. And he admits it. Israel had to take steps, he said, against “media, which has been determined by almost all Arab countries to actually be a supporter of terror, and we know this for certain”. So the Israelis, it appears, now receive lessons on media freedoms from “Arab countries”. Not just the Saudis, of course, but from “almost all Arab countries” whose unfettered media – one thinks at once of the untrammelled liberal press of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Algeria and yes, “almost” the entire media of the Gulf – are bastions of truth-telling, hard-hitting opponents of authoritarian regimes, constitutionally protected from dictatorial abuse. Forgive the hollow laughter. But is this really how Israel wants to define itself?

Well, yes it is, I suppose. For if an unwritten alliance really exists between Saudi Arabia and Israel, then all options – as US presidents and secretary Hillary Clinton used to say – are “on the table”.
Imprisonment without trial, extrajudicial executions, human rights abuses, corruption, military rule – let’s say this at once: all these characteristics belong to “almost all” Sunni Muslim Arab nations – and to Israel in the lands it occupies. And as for being a “supporter of terror” (I quote Israeli minister Kara again), one must first ask why Sunni Gulf Arabs have exported their fighters – and their money – to the most vicious Sunni Islamists in the Middle East. And then ask why Israel has never bombed these same vile creatures – indeed, ask why Israel has given hospital treatment to wounded fighters from the Sunni al-Nusra – in other words, al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of 9/11 – while attacking Shiite Hezbollah and Alawite (Shiite) led-Syria, and threatened to bombard Shiite Iran itself which is a project, I should add, of which Kara himself is all in favour.

Nor must we forget that America’s insane President and his weird regime is also part of the Saudi-Israeli anti-Shiite confederation. Trump’s obscene $350bn arms sales to the Saudis, his fingering of Iran and his hatred of the world’s press and television channels makes him an intimate part of the same alliance. Indeed, when you look at one of Trump’s saner predecessors – George W Bush, who also hated Iran, kowtowed to the Saudis and actually talked to Tony Blair of bombing Al Jazeera’s own headquarters in Qatar, he who made sure the wealthy bin Laden family were flown out of the States after 9/11 – this American-Saudi-Israeli covenant has a comparatively long history.

Being an irrational optimist, there’s an innocent side of my scratched journalistic hide that still believes in education and wisdom and compassion. There are still honourable Israelis who demand a state for the Palestinians; there are well-educated Saudis who object to the crazed Wahhabism upon which their kingdom is founded; there are millions of Americans, from sea to shining sea, who do not believe that Iran is their enemy nor Saudi Arabia their friend. But the problem today in both East and West is that our governments are not our friends. They are our oppressors or masters, suppressors of the truth and allies of the unjust.

Netanyahu wants to close down Al Jazeera’s office in Jerusalem. Crown Prince Mohammad wants to close down Al Jazeera’s office in Qatar. Bush actually did bomb Al Jazeera’s offices in Kabul and Baghdad. Theresa May decided to hide a government report on funding “terrorism”, lest it upset the Saudis – which is precisely the same reason Blair closed down a UK police enquiry into alleged BAE-Saudi bribery 10 years earlier.

And we wonder why we go to war in the Middle East. And we wonder why Sunni Isis exists, un-bombed by Israel, funded by Sunni Gulf Arabs, its fellow Sunni Salafists cosseted by our wretched presidents and prime ministers. I guess we better keep an eye on Al Jazeera – while it’s still around.
Israel moves to close Al Jazeera, ban its journalists

Doha-based network denounces the decision to revoke credentials of its journalists and close its offices in Jerusalem.

It was unclear when Israeli government will act on the request [File: Reuters]

Israel plans to revoke media credentials of Al Jazeera journalists and close the network's office in Jerusalem, the country's communication minister has announced.

Ayoub Kara made the announcement on Sunday during a press conference in Jerusalem, where Al Jazeera was barred from attending. 

 "We have based our decision on the move by Sunni Arab states to close the Al Jazeera offices and prohibiting their work," Kara said, adding that the channel is being used by groups to "incite" violence - an accusation the network has denied.

Kara said he expects Israel's parliament, the Knesset, to consider his request in the next session.
"I will go through the [legislatorial] mechanism to create the authority in which I can act freely. We will try to end it as quickly as possible."

Kara accused Al Jazeera of inciting violence - an accusation the network has denied [Dusan Vranic/AP]

Al Jazeera denounces measures
In a statement, the Doha-based media network denounced the measures from a country it says claims to be "the only democracy in the Middle East".

"Al Jazeera stresses that it will closely watch the developments that may result from the Israeli decision and will take the necessary legal measures towards it," the statement read.

Al Jazeera also denied the charges its coverage of al-Aqsa Mosque unrest was unprofessional.
 "Al Jazeera will continue to cover the events of the occupied Palestinian territories professionally and accurately, according to the standards set by international agencies, such as the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom)."

The pan-Arab network's offices in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah would not be affected by the current Israeli move.

The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, also known as Adalah, challenged the plan, saying it would be subject to scrutiny before the Supreme Court, adding that "it would fail the test of legality".

Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler, reporting from Jerusalem on Sunday, said that the request to revoke the credentials cover all the network's journalists in both the Arabic and English channels. 
It was unclear when the government will act on the request.

Our correspondent reported that Israel is also seeking to shut down Al Jazeera's cable and satellite transmissions in the country.

During the press conference, Kara also said that the interior ministry will also be involved in shutting down Al Jazeera's office in Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to shut Al Jazeera's operations in the country, accusing the network of inciting violence against Israel. His most recent attack on July 27 accused the network of "inciting violence".

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera senior political analyst, said the latest move by Israel shows a "synergy" of "dictatorships" in the Arab world and "dictatorship of military occupation in Palestine".

"It is as if closing down a network will diminish violence, when everyone knows that repression and military occupation and aggression is the reason for violence in the region. Not reporting it," he said.
Attack on press freedom

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Rami Khouri of the American University in Beirut, denounced the plan saying it is "very typical of regimes" in the region. 

"Regimes that want to control power will almost always go after two targets - the media and the foreigners. Everybody goes after the media." 

Aidan White, director of the London-based Ethical Journalism Network, called Israel's decision "a full frontal attack" on press freedom.

"It is a shocking statement, and it completely undermines Israel's claims to be the only democracy in the region, because it gets to the heart of one of the most important institutions of democracy.
"This attack on Al Jazeera is really an attack on all critical independent journalism."
The Committee to Protect Journalists has also criticised the Israeli move.

"Censoring Al Jazeera or closing its offices will not bring stability to the region, but it would put Israel firmly in the camp of some of the region's worst enemies of press freedom," CPJ Middle East and North Africa Programme Coordinator Sherif Mansour said in a statement.

"Israel should abandon these undemocratic plans and allow Al Jazeera and all journalists to report freely from the country and areas it occupies," it said.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia and Jordan both shut down Al Jazeera bureaus as part of a coordinated diplomatic and economic campaign against Qatar, where the headquarters of Al Jazeera Media Network is located.

Al Jazeera's signal has also been blocked in the United Arab Emirates. 

Egypt, which is also part of the blocking group, banned Al Jazeera several years ago. 


 Communications Minister Ayoub Kara starts working on Al-Jazeera shutdown

 AUGUST 6, 2017 17:53

Following in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Israel aims to revoke press credentials of Qatari-based news organization.

An employee walks inside an office of Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network in Jerusalem June 13, 2017. . (photo credit:REUTERS)

Security comes before freedom of expression, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara said at a press conference on Sunday, as he laid out a fivepoint plan backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to shut down Qatari cable network Al Jazeera.

Netanyahu congratulated Kara on Twitter, writing: “Following my instructions, he took several practical steps today to stop the actions of incitement by Al Jazeera in Israel.”

Kara said Al Jazeera should be banned from broadcasting from Israel on grounds of incitement.
 “I want to make clear: Our citizens’ security and welfare overcomes freedom of expression in times of terror, period. Freedom of expression is not freedom to incite,” Kara said. “Democracy has limits. When we ask what overcomes what, I have no doubt at all. I prefer our citizens and soldiers alive.”

Kara asked the Government Press Office to revoke Al Jazeera reporters’ press cards. He also spoke to the cable and satellite television companies in Israel, which he said expressed willingness to stop broadcasting Al Jazeera.

In addition, Kara asked Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to use his authority to close the network’s Israeli offices and asked for the channel’s broadcasts on open satellites – used by many Israeli Arabs – to be blocked.

Finally, Kara announced plans to promote legislation that would give the government the ability, in exceptional cases, to put security before freedom of expression.

Last week, Kara put his plan to shutter Al Jazeera in a broader Middle Eastern context, saying Saudi Arabia and other Sunni countries have called to shut down Al Jazeera entirely as part of their pressure on the Qatari regime. The countries campaigning against Qatar are not democracies that purport to have a free press.

 “We identify with the moderates in the Arab world who are fighting terrorism and religious extremism,” Kara said. “Here in Israel, there is no place for a channel that backs terrorism either.”

The Foreign Press Association, of which Al Jazeera journalists in Israel are members, said most of them have identification cards issued by the Government Press Office, which means they are government- vetted. They called Kara’s actions a “slippery slope.”

When reports first surfaced last month that the channel might be taken off the air, Al Jazeera stressed it would take “all necessary legal measures [if Israel] acts on its threat.”

See Israel moves to close Al Jazeera, ban its journalists

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Neo-Nazi organiser of Charlottesville, Richard Spencer, declares that he is a White Zionist

The founder of the alt-Right and White Supremacist leader says Israel should respect him

Heil Trump - Richard Spencer Goes into Nazi Mode

Richard Spencer first came into prominence for his ‘Heil Trump’ rally held soon after Trump’s inauguration.  He is an open anti-Semite and White Supremacist and is credited with having first come up with the name Alt-Right. When Trump ‘forgot’ to mention the fact that it was the Jews who died in the Holocaust, Spencer wrote approving of Trump’s ‘de-judaification’ of the Holocaust.  

 Jewish activists, Spencer wrote in a short post for his new website, have long insisted on making the Holocaust “all about their meta-narrative of suffering” and a way to “undergird their peculiar position in American society.”  White Supremacist Richard Spencer Hails Trump's 'de-Judaification' of Holocaust

Spencer asks a Zionist Rabbi Matt Rosenberg if he supports multi racialism in Israel
The Holocaust, in Spencer’s eyes, has become a sort of moral bludgeon — used against white nationalists like himself.  White Supremacist Richard Spencer Hails Trump's 'de-Judaification' of Holocaust
Trumps Fascist Trinity - Bannon, Miller, Gorka
Spencer was the organiser of last weekend’s demonstration at Charlottesville in which a variety of white supremacists and neo-Nazis attacked the unarmed crowd of anti-racists, anti-fascists and members of Black Lives Matter.  The attack, which killed one woman and injured several others, was the largest White Supremacist and neo-Nazi demonstration in living memory in the United States.
It is reported that 80% of the racists were armed and they were allowed by Police to wander unhindered around Charlottesville.
Anti-fascist demonstration at Charlottesville in favour of removing statue of General Robert Lee
The election of Trump has seen a coming together of a wide variety of White Supremacists, neo-Nazis and fascists under the banner of the Alt-Right.  They have in the White House three prominent advisors to Trump. There is Steve Bannon, Trump’s Strategic Advisor and former CEO of Breitbart News, an openly racist and White Supremacist magazine. Steven Miller, who has helped devise Trump’s immigration policy and who was mentored by Spencer. Some of idea of his views can be gleaned from this profile in The Telegraph:
He took to ringing his local radio stations to rail against multiculturalism and the usage of Spanish-language announcements, and wrote for his high school newspaper a column entitled “A Time to Kill”, urging violent response to radical Islamists.
Sebastian Gorka - Hungarian neo-Nazi and Trump adviser
The third member of the unholy trinity is far-Right Hungarian Sebastian Gorka who helped form the New Democratic Coalition in Hungary with ex-members of Jobbik, an openly fascist and anti-Semitic party.  Gorka also endorsed the Hungarian Guard, an anti-Semitic militia of Jobbik.  Gorka appeared at an inauguration ball for Trump wearing the Vit├ęzi Rend, a medal of a knightly order of merit founded in 1920 by Admiral Miklos Horthy, Hungary’s anti-Semitic ruler and Hitler’s ally during World War II. Horthy presided over the deportation of nearly ½ million Jews to Auschwitz.  Gorka was up to his ears in fascist politics in Hungary, seeing Jobbik as too moderate. [EXCLUSIVE: Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary]
Steve Bannon - Trump's anti-Semitic Breitbart adviser - Invited by the Zionist Organisation of America to its annual  gala dinner as a speaker
It is no surprise then that Spencer finds no difficulty in marrying his racist and anti-Semitic views with ardent support for Zionism and Israel.  In fact he sees Israel as a kind of model  for White Supremacism.  When Rabbi Matt Rosenberg of Texas A&M Hillel challenged Spencer at a meeting to be inclusive to others, Spencer threw the challenge back at the Rabbi.  ‘Would you want Israel to be radically inclusive’ knowing full well that Rabbi Rosenberg was like many Zionist ‘liberals’ – happy to support multi-racialism in the USA but opposed to intermarriage and equal rights for non-Jews in Israel.
Spencer’s declaration will no doubt be embarrassing to those like Rabbi Rosenberg who want ‘radical inclusion’ and tolerance in the United States, because that benefits American Jews but who would be aghast if the same principles were to apply to Israel.   The fact is that what Richard Spencer says is all too true – White Supremacists are only asking for what Zionists take for granted in Israel.  They are indeed White Zionists.

Tony Greenstein

WATCH Richard Spencer Tells Israelis They 'Should Respect' Him: 'I'm a White Zionist'

Spencer tells Israel's Channel 2 News: 'Jews are vastly over-represented in what you could call 'the establishment'

Richard Spencer, a white nationalist and de facto leader of the so-called “alt-right,” described himself to a reporter on Israel’s Channel 2 News as “a white Zionist” on Wednesday evening and argued that Israelis “should respect someone like me.”

The anchor had asked Spencer about the role of “alt-right” supporters in a march in Charlottesville, Viriginia on Friday, in which torch-bearing white nationalists shouted “Jews will not replace us!” in protest of the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

“Let’s be honest,” Spencer said, when asked whether such slogans constitute anti-Semitism. “Jews are vastly over-represented in what you could call ‘the establishment,’ that is, Ivy League educated people who really determine policy, and white people are being dispossesed from this country."

Asked how the mainly Jewish audience at home should take his remarks, Spencer responded:

 “... an Israeli citizen, someone who understands your identity, who has a sense of nationhood and peoplehood, and the history and experience of the Jewish people, you should respect someone like me, who has analogue feelings about whites. You could say that I am a white Zionist – in the sense that I care about my people, I want us to have a secure homeland for us and ourselves. Just like you want a secure homeland in Israel.”

This isn’t the first time Spencer has tried to wink at Israel. Last December, he told Haaretz that he “respects Israel” and that he would “respect” the decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In an August 2010 article called “An Alliance with theJews,” published on his Radix Journal website, Spencer argued that Israel could become an ally of white nationalists in the United States. He wrote that in the face of the threat of nuclear weapons in countries hostile to Israel, there would be “hard-liners” in Israel who would prefer to see the extreme right in the White House.

Spencer, however, has also made headlines and sparked widespread outrage by making anti-Semitic remarks and engaging in Holocaust denial. Last December, for instance, the "alt-right" leader praised Trump's Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that failed to mention Jews and anti-Semitism as an important step, dubbing it the "de-Judaification" of the Holocaust.

Jewish activists, Spencer wrote in a short post for his website, have long insisted on making the Holocaust “all about their meta-narrative of suffering” and a way to “undergird their peculiar position in American society.”

Spencer, a onetime Duke University PhD student, championed Trump through the presidential campaign – and though he has been critical of the president at times, seems to have come around to Trump. While he claims he's not a Nazi, Spencer also does not outright condemn Hitler, calling him a “historical figure.”

YNet, Yaron London|Published:  21.11.16 , 13:48

Israel does not appear shocked by the appointment of racist anti-Semites to senior positions in US President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. There is no wonder there. First of all, it is not in our power to change it. Our complete dependence on the United States forces us to hold our tongue and restrain ourselves.
  • Second, a world view which supports white supremacy matches our government’s interests. If Trump’s people are more disgusted by Arabs than they are by Jews (the liberals, the Wall Street people, journalists from the East Coast, lovers of black people, Hillary Clinton’s friends), we have struck quite a good deal. Trump and his friends see Israel as a forefront against the barbarians, and they are not exactly very observant.
To do the Netanyahu government justice, let me qualify my statement by saying that all forms of Zionism hold the perception that a certain extent of anti-Semitism benefits the Zionist enterprise. To put it more sharply, anti-Semitism is the generator and ally of Zionism. Masses of Jews leave their place of residence only when their economic situation and physical safety are undermined. Masses of Jews are shoved to this country rather than being attracted to it. The yearning for the land of Zion and Jerusalem is not strong enough to drive millions of Jews to the country they love and make them hold on to its clods.

Steve Bannon, Trump's controversial new chief strategist (Photo: AFP)

As the Jews in Israel long for immigrants with a certain affiliation to their people, and as Zionism—like any other ideology—needs constant justification, we have a secret hope in our hearts that a moderate anti-Semitic wave, along with a deterioration in the economic situation in their countries of residence, will make Diaspora Jews realize that they belong with us. Is proof even necessary? No one will protest the assertion that the rise in anti-Semitism in France gave us some satisfaction, in the sense of “we warned you, didn’t we?” Late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did not hesitate to make such a declaration, angering the French government and many Jews who see themselves as unconditional French citizens. Thousands of Jews from France who see Israel as a lifeboat, as an insurance policy, purchased apartments here and raised real estate prices in the coastal cities. That’s good. It proves Zionism was right. Furthermore, no one can deny that the economic crisis in the Soviet empire, coupled with the nesting anti-Semitism there, were the cause of the immigration to Israel of about 1 million Jews and their non-Jewish relatives, most of whom have no affiliation to Jewish culture. Neither can anyone contradict the embarrassing fact that Israel worked to lock the gates to the US, the opening of which may have directed many of these Jews and their relatives there, and perhaps even most of them.

It was not the Jewish immigrants’ welfare that we saw before our eyes, but the state’s reinforcement. While the act of blocking and directing the Jews to Israel is ethically dubious, it was justified by the Zionist ideology which asserts that a normalization of the Jewish situation—in other words, concentrating the Jewish people in its own territory—is the only thing that will save us from another Holocaust and, according to some people, will even speed up the Messiah’s arrival.

The Jews’ comfortable situation in America raises doubts as to whether it was worthwhile to gamble on the establishment of a Jewish state. The normalization did not provide us, the Israelis, with a normal existence and did not lessen the anti-Semitism which is now drawing some of its arguments from the way we are managing the conflict with the Palestinians. There are Israelis whose parents or grandparents immigrated to Israel out a belief that this is where the agonizing historical journey will end, and now their offspring are learning that the promise has not been fulfilled.

In order to remove these malignant doubts, it would be good to have some anti-Semitism in America. Not serious anti-Semitism, not pogroms, not persecutions that will empty America from its Jews, as we need them there, but just a taste of this pungent stuff, so that we can restore our faith in Zionism. 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Jeremy Corbyn Must Follow Ted Heath's example - He sacked Enoch Powell and Sarah Champion must be sacked

You Can’t Have A Racist in the Shadow Cabinet

Update - Victory as Champion Goes

Within 12 hours of my posting this blog Sarah Champion had resigned as Shadow Womens and Equalities Spokesperson.  It just shows the power of this blog!

When Enoch Powell gave his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in 1968, Ted Heath instantly sacked him from the  Tory Shadow Cabinet.  Powell spoke of ‘Black piccaninnies’ and, as a Classicist used a Roman metaphor:  "It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre" and "Like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood."

Heath was never forgiven for this by the Tory Right but by his swift action he made it clear that the kind of racist demonization we have seen in the last week is unacceptable.  It is equally intolerable that Sarah Champion, who has engaged in no less despicable racist stereotyping, remains as Labour's Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities.
Enoch  Powell was sacked by Ted Heath - Corbyn needs to demonstrate his mettle by sacking Champion

Sarah Champion’s decision to write an article in the Scum, of all papers, a paper which has made the depiction of women’s bodies for gratification into an art form, is shocking.  No less shocking is the headline over her article ‘British Pakistanis ARE raping white girls’.  The extrapolation from what a particular gang of Muslim men did to all Pakistanis is overtly racist and belongs in the repertoire of the British National Party and Britain First, not the Labour Party.

Sarah Champion - Labour's Enoch Powell
Noone pretends that the  activities of this gang of rapists in Newcastle is anything other than horrifying.  There is no justification for what they did and they deserve long prison sentences.  What is not acceptable is the drawing of an equation between Muslim or Pakistani men and rape and child sex abuse.  It hardly needs to be said that all men, whatever their colour or ethnic origin are equally capable of rape and paedophilia.
Sarah Champion chose well for her racist diatribe - the Sun

When a group of white men did exactly the same just over a year ago there were no lurid headlines in the Scum about white men abusing and raping.  It was not considered newsworthy.

When Lord Greville Janner, the former President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews was widely acknowledged to have sexually abused and raped at least 20 young boys, no one except the most despicable fascist would have gone on to draw an equation between him and Jewish men per se.
Image result for jimmy savile
Jimmy Saville - protected by the Police and BBC - is not believed to have been Pakistani or Muslim

Nor did anyone try to suggest that Jimmy Saville, whose activities were covered up by at least 3 Police forces and BBC Executives, was typical of White British men.

There is no evidence that Muslim men are more inclined than any other men to rape or abuse.  As Richard Seymour describes in the article below, there are material reasons why abuse by Muslim men in certain Northern cities may take a particular form.   The fact that they are engaged in night time trades, kebab shops, taxis etc. lends itself to this kind of networking.
The Rev. Peter Ball, ex-Bishop of Lewes, was gaoled for 32 months for abusing at least 18 children, one of whom later committed suicide as a result.  Doesn't seem to have a Pakistani heritage
In the same way, rape and abuse by Catholic and Church of England priests takes another form, often over much longer periods of time and also subject to various forms of cover up by the authorities.  When the impeccably White ex-Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball was gaoled for just 32 months, of which he served only 16 months, for abusing 18 aspiring young priests no one campaigned against White Priests once again being caught raping and abusing.  Noone seemed bothered to ask why Prince Charles and other members of the Establishment covered up for him.  Charles even provided Ball with a grace and favour home on his estate.  [see Disgraced sex abuse Bishop, who was protected from prosecution for years by Establishment figures, walks free from jail]

The abuse in Ireland, not simply sexual abuse but what was tantamount to the murder of children and young women in Catholic homes, hardly bears repeating.  It was a veritable holocaust but it reflected on the misogyny of the Irish Catholic church not all Irish Catholics.   The same is true of the Protestant Kincora home in Belfast where, under the watchful eye of MI6 and Northern Ireland’s Special Branch, young boys were raped and abused by senior Loyalists.

The fact is that sexual abuse and rape takes many forms in many societies.  There is no doubt that all religions, Islam included, are misogynist.  It hardly bears repeating that the West, Britain and the USA in particular, have sponsored and supported the most reactionary strand of Islam, Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia, a strand which encourages and legitimates sexual abuse.  It was Wahhabism which gave the inspiration to ISIS which made the enslavement and rape of Yazidi women a matter of policy. 
A poster that appeared in Streicher's Der Sturmer featuring the lecherous Jewish male predator - this is a common theme in racist narratives
In Nazi Germany Jewish men were also alleged to be predators.  It was the staple diet of Der Sturmer magazine run by Julius Streicher.  There is no doubt that the incidence of child sexual abuse within sections of Jewish ultra-orthodoxy is high.  People like senior Lubavitch Rabbi Manis Friedman have openly belittled and made light of such abuse.  [see Call for apology as Rabbi Manis Friedman likens child sex abuse to 'diarrhoea'

Lubavitch, which is a very active Hasidic sect in the Orthodox British Jewish community has consistently refused to condemn Friedman’s remarks.  Friedman who remains in a position of power is widely believed to be a child sex abuser himself, at least according to his son, who is also an abuser.

One could if one wanted to look at the way non-Jewish women are treated and considered in the Jewish religion since Islam is held up to the mirror.   The term ‘Shiksa’ for a non-Jewish woman is derived from Sheketz, ‘unclean’ and is used to refer to a prostitute.  The attitude of the Jewish Orthodoxy to non-Jewish women would not bear examination.

None of this excuses Sarah Champion’s decision to write in the Scum.  He decision has particular poignancy given that this was the paper that lied about Liverpool football fans at Hillsborough football stadium.  It should be a sacking offence for any Labour shadow cabinet minister to write in this paper.  To add political petrol to the flames of the Scum’s racism and sexism is unacceptable.

Sarah Champion Must Go – Corbyn Must Sack Her

Aug 10 at 4:49pm
Richard Seymour

Operation Sanctuary has uncovered, prosecuted and convicted members of another large child sex grooming ring, this time in Newcastle.

As is always the case when the majority of the perpetrators are not white, this has provoked a 'debate' about race, that vacillates between the hand-wringing and the downright sinister. Sarah Champion MP has managed both, attacking the Tories from the right on race, and berating the "floppy left" for finding anything problematic in this. In particular, Champion avers that these offenders are "predominantly Pakistani" and castigates the government for not investigating this. Such debates are not provoked when the perpetrators are white, and this tells us something about the role of "race and culture" as talking points.

Now, contrary to what Champion claims, she is not breaking new ground here. Back in 2012 when a string of major child sex abuse stories, inculpating politicians, celebrities, senior police and others, exploded onto the national news, there was also a national panic about Muslim men as a result of child sex rings in the north. Keith Vaz MP explained on BBC Radio that one in five of the perpetrators of child sex grooming are British Asians. He was drawing on data from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre.

Even he wasn't breaking new ground, merely reiterating what Jack Straw MP had said years before. This is an old and dishonourable tactic by a certain kind of politician. In particular, it is Labour politicians who think that they have to demonstrate their un-PC credentials by pandering to racism.

That this is in fact what Champion is doing, and knowingly, is disappointing given her record. She won her seat by defeating a toxic Ukip campaign orchestrated precisely on the axis of a panic about child abuse, implicating British Asians as a menace to white sexual innocence. Ukip claimed that Labour was more worried about political correctness and not being racist than in protecting white British kids.

Champion did not, at the time, concede ground to the racist fearmongering. She, as a professional with direct experience in dealing with child abuse, knows the literature and expertise well enough to refute race-baiting. And she increased Labour's majority. Now she is repeating the Ukip lines.

There are a few things to clarify before a sensible discussion can even be had. First of all, "race and culture" should not be spoken in the same breath, as if they are the same type of thing. Cultures exist, but they are raggedy in outline, porous, and changeable. Their outlines are more like weather fronts than borders. Races don't exist, except as a political and ideological construct. The idea that any one specific culture could be imputed to British Asian men is incoherent.

Second, as an elementary point of logic, correlation is not causation. Commenting on the CEOP figures, an investigator told The Guardian that the higher representation of British Asian men in the data is likely to reflect not 'race' or 'culture' in these cases, but occupation. In other words, these grooming rings were made possible by a night-time economy populated by young girls moving between taxis and fast food outlets. Which, given a racial segregation of the labour force, meant that there was a unique opportunity for a small number of men, mostly British Asian in the case of Operation Sanctuary, to generate a grooming circuit, based on attention, flattery, parties, booze and drugs. Relatedly, where biases toward the over-representation of a particular minority group have been found among child sex abusers, typically it is because race is indexed to other factors that make children vulnerable, such as class.

Third, proof of the stereotypical nature of this debate is Champion's claim that gang-related child sexual abuse is "predominantly Pakistani". This is often asserted, but there's no evidence for it, and the CEOP figures simply don't bear that out. "Just 35 of the 415 Asians are recorded as having Pakistani heritage and thus highly likely to be Muslim, and only five are recorded as being from a Bangladeshi background. The heritage of 366 of the Asian group is not stated in those figures." As a result, the CEOP is quite explicit about its inability to draw any nationwide conclusions based on the fragmentary and partial nature of its data. It depends entirely on data deriving from cases reported to a police unit investigating these crimes.

Fourth, the construction of child abuse along racial or national lines depends entirely on how you focus your search. The majority of sex offenders in the UK, according to statistics collected by Sheffield Hallam University, are white. In the figures collected in 2007, 5.6 per cent of the sex offender population was 'South Asian' by origin, and 81.9% white. Taking into account the fact that this was the prison population, and that there are racial biases in the criminal justice system from arrest to prosecution, it would be surprising if these figures didn't exaggerate the representation of British Asians among the sex offenders population.

Fifth, one reason for the extraordinarily high rate of estimated non-disclosure is that the majority of sexual assaults are inflicted on children. And abuse selects for vulnerability. This means that there is, even in the best official data, a huge zone of blindness. But with the data we have, it is possible to say that the majority of child sex abuse is not like the grooming cases. It usually involves one-to-one assaults, in a residence, either first thing in the morning, during after-school hours, or at midnight. So, attempting to draw wider conclusions about the nature of child sexual abuse from the high profile grooming cases is at best a mistake.

The problem with Sarah Champion's intervention is not that she wants to talk about culture. If we started to talk about the cultural biases and cognitive distortions that enable abusers, that would require a careful and nuanced discussion, which would take into account the specific ways in which different groups of offenders -- be they the abusers at Kincora Boys Home, the groomers of Rotherham and Newcastle, or the fathers who assault their children ongoingly -- are informed by their cultural self-understandings, their religion, their socioeconomic position, and so on. It would not try to simplify all this by forcing it through the morally charged and oppressive grid of race.

To reinforce race as the appropriate framework for analysis and police action is to, as Sarah Champion admits, raise the pitch of nationwide Islamophobia. It is also to add one more giant weapon to the arsenals of silence. Children don't speak out for many reasons. In part because they fear they will not be believed, in part because they fear punishment or revenge. But one of the best known reasons is their fear of the process of accountability and prosecution itself. Their fear, in a word, that the process will run out of their control, that it will have consequences well beyond their intentions. If you turn child sex abuse into a national morality tale about race relations in 21st century Britain, you haven't made it easier for people to speak -- especially children who are particularly vulnerable because of the way they are racialised.

Because contrary to Champion's claims, this sort of intervention is not about protecting children. Racism is not child protection.

Addendum: Since I wrote this, Sarah Champion has taken to the pages of The Sun to further incite racial hatred. The headline: "British Pakistanis ARE raping white girls ... and we must face up to it". Followed by the first sentence: "Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls."

It is not trivial to point out that the majority of those arrested, prosecuted and convicted in this latest grooming circle in Newcastle are not Pakistani. To respond to this case by, as Champion has from the start, inciting against Pakistani men, is to conflate all the men with brown skin who were arrested, be they Iraqi, Bangladeshi, or Indian into a sort of racial amalgam, a Muslamic horde.

It also goes without saying that Champion styles herself as someone very brave and original, as though what she is saying has not been said over and over again by opportunistic Labour MPs, Tories, Ukippers, Sun columnists, and so on. "There. I said it. Does that make me a racist?" She asks. Yes.

Areeq Chowdhury Chief Executive of WebRoots Democracy

Sarah Champion MP, I think you’re racist. There. I said it. Does that make me politically correct? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?
If you think I am being over the top, have a quick read of the column in the Sun written by Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister, Sarah Champion. It’s entitled “British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls... and it’s time we faced up to it.” She inexplicably opens with the line “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls. There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?”
Well to answer what I’m sure was a rhetorical question Sarah, yes, it does make you a racist. Let me explain why.
In a country which has a history of abuse against South Asians by way of activities such as “Paki-bashings” and at a time of resurgent racism, to make such a sweeping and factually inaccurate statement is incendiary and achieves nothing other than establishing further stigma against minorities. Is it true that there is “a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls” or is it just some Pakistani men? A very small minority? Your statement is lazy and suggests the problem is with all British Pakistani men, which as your colleague Naz Shah MP points out includes other politicians such as Sajid Javid and Sadiq Khan, as well as her two sons.

Naz Shah’s rebuttal article makes me wonder whether you consulted with any of your British Pakistani colleagues before launching such a vocal tirade against Pakistani people. Did you?
You go on to say “for too long we have ignored the race of these abusers and, worse, tried to cover it up...these people are predators and the common denominator is their ethnic heritage.” Let’s overlook the questionable accuracy of your assumptions again, but look at the common denominator that you identify, their “ethnic heritage”.
The case which her comments come after is the horrendous sex gang case in Newcastle. Unusually for a sex abuse case, the ethnicity of the perpetrators has been the main focus, and the focus of choice for Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister. The convicted men were mostly British-born, from Iraqi, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Iranian, and Turkish communities. Whilst the majority were British Pakistani, not all were. Regardless of this, Ms Champion has labelled the problem as a “Pakistani” one. It’s a modern-day, non-violent version of “Paki-bashing” attacking those who are brown-skinned under the all-encompassing “Pakistani” label.
Like more contemporary racists, you have chosen to identify the common denominator, without proper evidence, as “ethnic-heritage” or as it appears you are unable to differentiate between different ethnic backgrounds, just the skin colour. But say it was the ethnic heritage. Is it British Pakistani culture and upbringing that you are pointing the finger at? Are you able to identify what that culture is? Because I can’t. Like every other “culture”, upbringing varies wildly based on multiple factors. Would you claim the culture and upbringing of an Eton-educated southerner is the same as a manual labourer from a working-class community in Wales, just because they are both White British? Give me a break. You could have pointed out that the common denominator is that they all have dark hair or that they are all men. But you chose race.
For argument’s sake, let’s assume the premise of your arguments are true. That child sexual exploitation is a problem unique to the British Pakistani community. The solution would therefore be to engage with British Pakistani communities and to enable them to tackle the problem head-on. But what do you hope to achieve by writing a column about it in the Sun? Have you been briefed that the Sun has a large Pakistani readership? Are Pakistani mothers and fathers buying copies of the Sun to catch a glimpse of Page 3? If there are huge numbers of Pakistani people reading it, why haven’t you addressed the article to them? When you refer to British Pakistani men as “these people” it sure doesn’t sound like you’re speaking to them directly.
There is a lot more that can said about this, but let me leave you with this thought. Had this article been written by an MP from any other political party or someone like Donald Trump or Nigel Farage, what would the reaction have been? The fact that the article has been penned by an MP from the proudly anti-racist Labour Party is reason enough to be shocked, nevermind the fact that the MP is the Shadow Minister for “Equalities.”