2 December 2023

Israel’s Institutional Sadism – Beatings and Food Deprivation are the lot of Palestinian Prisoners

Compare this with the Gentle Treatment of Israeli Prisoners By Hamas

Ex-Prisoners Recall Time In Israeli Detention

As Israel resumes its genocidal war against the Palestinians of Gaza it is worth bearing in mind the contrast between Hamas’s treatment of Israeli captives and Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners. According to groups like the misnamed Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, Hamas is both genocidal and anti-Semitic.

You would therefore expect that when Hamas captured over 200 Israeli hostages they would feel the full brunt of this anti-Semitism. One would expect those who were Jewish to testify to being beaten, possibly tortured and certainly subject to vile anti-Semitic comments.

In addition one might expect them to be deprived of food, medical treatment and subject to all manner of psychological torments designed to break them down.

Release of Israeli Hostages

Israel's President Herzog Holds all Palestinians Guilty

Yet the exact opposite was the case. What happened was that Hamas treated the Israeli hostages very differently to the sadistic brutes that constitute the Israeli Prison Service. At the very beginning of his reign as Israel’s neo-Nazi National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir sought to worsen the conditions of Palestinian prisoners. He stipulated that they could have a shower for only a maximum of 4 minutes. He ordered that they were no longer allowed to bake their own pittas.

As a result of their treatment the Israeli hostages displayed affection and warmth for their Hamas captors which posed a problem for Israeli propagandists. How to reconcile their racist portrayal of Hamas as sub-human anti-Semites and the reality of what happened?

Palestinians not allowed to celebrate their release in E Jerusalem

This was the context for the wheeling out of the Stockholm Syndrome, so-called because in 1973, after a failed bank robbery, when the robbers took 4 bank employees hostage, the hostages refused to testify against their kidnappers. Shivani Chauhan wrote about how

The recent release of Israeli hostages captured by Hamas, the Palestinian militia in Gaza, has unearthed a new dimension in the ongoing conflict. This event took a perplexing turn when hostages were seen warmly waving to the Hamas militants at the time of release, with one even writing a letter to his captor. Such behaviors have sparked discussions about the potential role of Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological condition where victims develop an affinity towards their captors.

There is just one flaw in this argument. No Palestinian detainee seems to have suffered from this psychological condition. They all speak of beatings, degradation, torture and food deprivation. They show no affection for their captors. Why is it that only Israeli hostages feel warmth for their captors?

Maya Lecker, a political analyst, wrote in Haaretz complaining about people ‘applauding Hamas gunmen for giving high-fives to their captives on camera’ and that ‘pro-Palestinian influencers and social media users’ were finding the nightly hand-overs of hostages ‘heart-warming public displays of humanity and morality by Hamas militants.’

Another political analyst, Yaniv Peleg, said in an article for the right-wing Israel Hayom newspaper that broadcasting the footage on television is detrimental to Israel. How one might wonder is showing the release of the hostages live on TV ‘detrimental to Israel’? Peleg even complained of the professionalism of Hamas footage! Is he admitting that the truth is detrimental to Israel’s narrative?

These are not human beings - Israeli soldier

Would it have been better not to release them? In fact this is what large parts of Israel’s neo-Nazi government, people like Bezalel Smotrich and Ben Gvir would have preferred. Smotrich is on record as saying that Israel should “not take the matter of the captives into significant consideration”.

What the Israeli state feared was of course the contrast between the propaganda image of Hamas as ‘human animals’ and the actuality. That is why the Israeli State and the Zionists were angry over footage depicting Hamas's treatment of released Israeli hostages because it did not accord with their propaganda.

Freed Palestinians Say They Were Tortured, Beaten and Starved in Israeli Prisons

Peleg complained that every detail was captured to portray the humanity of the perpetrators, Hamas, to the world. When you have spent years portraying Hamas as an evil group, whose sole intent was the destruction of every Jew, it might come as a surprise to know that they didn’t hate people simply because they were Jews.

That is why the Israeli state has strained every sinew to prevent the released hostages talking to the media. If their treatment had lived up to standard Israeli portrayals of Hamas militants and Netanyahu’s equation of Hamas as equal to ISIS, then one would have expected released hostages to have been paraded before the cameras. In fact they have been hidden away.

The absurdity of the comparison with ISIS is also evident. ISIS beheaded their captives and tortured them. Hamas did no such thing.

Alon Ben David: "Hamas treated the Israeli hostages well"

The military correspondent for Israel’s Channel 13, Alon Ben David, said that he had spoken with some of the released captives. All said that the Hamas fighters “have gathered the members of each kibbutz together, which gave them a greater sense of comfort.”

They were not subjected to any violence or insult, and Hamas members tried to provide them with food, painkillers, and their regular medications as much as possible, under dangerous and harsh security conditions underground and inside the tunnels.

They were sitting and talking to each other, he added, doing their usual activities, and using YouTube. “This gave them a boost to persevere.” How strange that the CAA’s genocidal anti-Semites had taken the trouble to gather members of each kibbutz together.

Another speaker on the same show said that they should all feel “ashamed” of themselves, because the testimonies given by the recently released Israeli captives are exactly the same as the testimony given by Lifshitz.

“She was telling the truth exactly as those [captives] said. I sat with them and heard the exact same story from them,”

Israeli Channel 13 reported, that the released Israeli hostages said they did not experience mistreatment and were not subjected to torture. The food was scarce, which was not surprising since Israel has imposed a total water and food blockade on Gaza.

The brutal treatment of Palestinian prisoners by Israel

Tel Aviv kept the released Israeli hostages away from the media and allowed only relatives and friends to meet them. The released hostages were forced into media silence as Israel tightened its control on interviews.

A report from Israeli news channel Channel 12 noted that Israeli authorities had arranged a special media process for the hostages’ post-release, in order to ensure they remain in control of the narrative.

Note the contrast in condition - Israeli prisoner on left, Hamas prisoner on right

It said that medical officials will first assess whether the released hostages were fit enough to be questioned about their ordeal by Israel’s security police, Shin Bet. The children who were taken hostage will also undergo questioning by special child investigators.

The Channel 12 report noted that Israeli authorities had sought to control the narrative following criticism by Israeli commentators for what they said was a careless handling of Lifshitz’s press conference.

It said media interviews will not be banned for abductees, but closely supervised.

Despite the anger after Yochaved Lifshitz's press conference upon her release, this time too there will be no ban on media interviews of the abductees.

What do the videos of released Hamas captives tell us | Al Jazeera Newsfeed

Despite pretending to be unconcerned Israeli authorities were outraged at the fact that Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv had facilitated Yocheved Lifshitz’s interview. As a result hospital employee Avi Shoshan has been suspended and summoned to a pre-dismissal hearing. For enabling a hostage to tell the truth someone is being threatened with dismissal. That’s not something the BBC or the prostitute press will report but that is what happens when Israel’s narrative is questioned.

Shoshan was summoned to a pre-dismissal hearing after the hospital held a press conference with 85-year-old Lifshitz, an abductee who was released by Hamas last month.

Yocheved Lifshitz press conference

Time Magazine reported 85-year-old Yocheved Lipschitz as saying that her captors “told us they are people who believe in the Quran and wouldn’t hurt us.”

Lifshitz said captives were treated well and received medical care, including medication. The guards kept conditions clean, she said. Hostages were given one meal a day of cheese, cucumber and pita, she said, adding that her captors ate the same.

Hamas prisoners - unlike Israel's prisoners there is no sign of beating or torture

A family member of Ruth Munder, an elderly woman who was released, told the Jerusalem Post that Munder did not experience any harm during her captivity. In a section ‘How did Hamas Treat the Hostages’ the Jerusalem Post reported that

Initially, there weren't many people with them, but at some point, more individuals were added. They had access to a radio and television, where they heard news from Israel. Ruth heard on the radio that her son [Roi Munder] had been killed… The conditions were far from ideal; 80-year-old men and women lied down on plastic benches similar to those in a hospital, without mattresses.

"Fortunately, they did not endure any unpleasant experiences during their captivity; they were treated in a humane manner," continued the family member.

"Contrary to our fears, they did not encounter the horrifying stories we had imagined. They described the initial moments of their kidnapping when the terrorists were agitated and threatened to harm them, but once they were on motorcycles, they did not harm them."

After 85-year-old captive Yochaved Lifshitz told the media she was treated "with care" and was filmed shaking hands in a peace gesture with a Hamas soldier, the Israeli authorities have been eager to regain the narrative.

Lifshitz told the press how she received daily visits from a doctor during her captivity, and that they ate the same food as the guards. Lifshitz’s daughter also said that her mother was cared for by a paramedic during her captivity.

On October 24, Lifshitz told the press that she was treated well while in Hamas captivity after she was driven into the Gaza Strip while being beaten by Hamas terrorists. Her statements caused an uproar in Israel, with some government and diplomatic figures accusing the conference organizers of damaging the country's advocacy efforts by portraying a positive image of Hamas.

In other words the organisers of the press conference had allowed doubt to be cast upon government lies about Hamas and that is unforgiveable. Ha’aretz reported how Lifshitz started the press conference by recounting the details of the October 7 kidnapping: "Masses mobbed our homes. They beat people, took some hostage." She described it as "very painful.”

It was the statements that followed, however, that drew controversy in Israel. She said that the kidnappers brought a doctor that gave them medical treatment, that the hostages were treated well and the kidnappers were friendly. "We lay on mattresses, they made sure everything was sanitary," she said. "They made sure we wouldn't get sick, and we had a doctor with us every two or three days.”

Ha’aretz reported the story as ‘The problem is you, not Hamas' : Hostages' families lash out at Israeli government.

"They were very friendly to us," Lifshitz said, "they treated us gently and looked after us." Clearly this dedemonising of Hamas and the portray of its members as human beings could not be allowed again.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported that Israel’s released hostages ‘are expected to receive close supervision, and they will be instructed on what to tell the media and what not."

What this shows is that Israel as a settler-colonial state consciously seeks to portray those who oppose it as less than human, brutal animal savages whereas in fact if anyone conforms to this image it is the Zionists themselves.

Tony Greenstein

30 November 2023

Open Letter to Jewish Voice for Labour – Palestinian Resistance Is Not Criminal Nor Is the Taking of Israeli Captives

What is Criminal is the Incarceration of Thousands of Palestinians and the Hannibal Directive Under Which the Israel Army Killed Hundreds of its Own Citizens

Prison Breakout October 7

Dear JVL,

I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of Jewish Voice for Labour. Nonetheless I consider myself a critical supporter. It is in that spirit that I view with dismay the motion that JVL’s Executive has proposed on the ‘Gaza War’ at your AGM this weekend.

I know that it is a minor point but it is important to point out that in the language we use we don’t unwittingly lend support to the Zionist narrative. There is no war between the people of Gaza and the Zionist state. What has been taking place since October 7 is a one-sided slaughter in which thousands of non-combatants, including children, have been slaughtered in a campaign that has defied every tenet of international law.

Socialists have always supported unconditionally the right of people under occupation to resist their occupiers. That does not mean that that that support is uncritical but any criticism which we make is premised on our support.

Contrary to the lies of the mass media that babies had been beheaded, no baby died on October 7th, unlike the incubator babies that Israel killed in Al Shifa Hospital

I was therefore astounded that JVL’s Executive sought to characterise the attack on October as ‘criminal’. According to whose law? Israeli law? Of course the colonial occupier characterises resistance to its occupation as criminal but I am surprised that JVL should join them.

The right to resist is recognised in numerous resolutions of the UN General Assembly as well as the Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions (1977). Article 1(4), classifies conflicts in which peoples are fighting against alien occupation and racist regimes as armed conflicts in which individuals engaging in such “fighting,” if captured, should be afforded the status of prisoners of war.

Israeli forces shot their own civilians, kibbutz survivor says

It is not necessary however to resort to international law to understand that just as the French and Czech people had the right to resist the Nazis, just as the American colonists had the right to resist the British and the African slaves had the right to resist their overseers, so the Palestinians too have a right to resist Israel’s Apartheid regime.

Between 1791 and 1804 slaves in Haiti and Santo Domingo overthrew slavery, in the course of which they slaughtered every single French white person. I would hope that if the JVL Executive had been around at the time that you would have supported the slave uprising even if you had deplored much of the killing that resulted. The same is true of October 7 when the Palestinians of Gaza broke out of their prison.

As you are well aware Gaza has been occupied for over half a century. For the past 16 years Israel has imposed a starvation blockade and bombed the territory regularly (‘mowing the lawn’) causing thousands of deaths. What right have we to call an uprising of Gaza’s people ‘criminal’?

In 2018 when Palestinians in Gaza took part in the peaceful Great Return March over 300 were mowed down by Israeli snipers and thousands more were disabled by illegal Israeli ammunition. We all remember Razan al-Najjar, the 21 year old medic gunned down by Israel as she was tending to the wounded.

Great Return March

Israel holds approximately 8,000 Palestinian prisoners, 3,000 of whom have not even had the luxury of a ‘trial’ in a military court where the conviction rate is over 99%. By what feat of intellectual gymnastics are Palestinians forbidden to take Israelis prisoner when so many of them are imprisoned? This sounds very much like Jewish Exceptionalism. We support the Palestinians whilst they are nobly suffering but the moment they fight back we call them criminals.

The motion from the JVL Executive, which talks of ‘Hamas’s killing of up to 1,200 Israeli residents, mostly civilians’ is simply wrong. According to the Times of Israel approximately one-third of those killed were either soldiers or police.

It is an open question as to how many of the remaining 800 civilians were killed by Israel itself as part of the infamous Hannibal Directive which decrees that it is better to kill an Israeli captive than have them taken prisoner and later swapped for Palestinian prisoners.


Israelis in Tel Aviv 26 7 2014 There's no school tomorrow,there's no children l

We know for a fact that at Kibbutz Be’eri tanks were brought in to shell the houses where Israelis were being held captive with the result that those held hostage died along with their captors.

There is also considerable evidence that Apache helicopters strafed concert goers and cars indiscriminately. How then can the motion ascribe the deaths on October 7 solely to Hamas when Israel acknowledges it bombed its own bases when they fell under Hamas control?


Israeli forces shot their own civilians, kibbutz survivor says (Full with subtitles)

I also find the sentence ‘Israel’s military onslaught is no surgical operation targeting the militants responsible for October 7’ (my emphasis) very strange. It implies that if Israel had launched a surgical as opposed to a genocidal attack on Gaza then JVL would have supported it!

In the list of demands in the bullet points at the end of the resolution JVL calls for the release of the (Israeli) ‘hostages’ but refers to Palestinian ‘detainees’. Why the difference? Are you implying that Palestinian prisoners are lawfully detained? That they are not  hostages?

It is to be hoped that this resolution falls or is withdrawn. Israel’s siege and occupation of Gaza are unlawful and it is therefore the right of Hamas and any resistance group to resist that occupation.


Tony Greenstein

See Israeli forces shot their own civilians, kibbutz survivor says

What really happened on 7th October?

Starmer’s Double Standards

Emergency motion on the Gaza War

This AGM rejects attempts by Israel and its Western backers to portray the death toll inflicted on Gazans since October 7 as justified by Israel’s claimed “right to defend itself”. Hamas’s killing of up to 1,200 Israeli residents, mostly civilians, and the taking of more than 200 hostages were criminal acts. But Israel’s military onslaught is no surgical operation targeting the militants responsible for October 7. It is a vengeful retaliation by a government openly bent on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

This ongoing catastrophe stems directly from the consistent policies of the Israeli settler-colonial state for decade after decade. It has stolen Palestinians’ land and their water. It has demolished their homes. It has imprisoned, tortured and murdered them and attempted to obliterate their culture. It has created a vast open-air prison in Gaza and now turned it into an open-air grave. Israel wants Palestinian land without Palestinians.  In closing off all forms of non-violent resistance to their apartheid policies the Israeli state has set the conditions for the current disaster.

We deplore the proliferating attempts to silence Palestinians and those who stand in solidarity with them by accusations that they are motivated by antisemitism. It is Israel, a state, not the Jewish people worldwide, that is carrying out the shamefully indiscriminate butchery in Gaza.

We reject the hypocritical arguments from politicians, Tory and Labour, who talk of international law while ignoring obvious war crimes, and who propose only temporary interruptions, so-called “humanitarian pauses”, in the genocide. We welcome the negotiated release of some hostages and detainees and any easing of the blockade. But only a permanent ceasefire can open the way for an end to decades of injustice. A lasting peace, bringing security, dignity, equality, justice and freedom for both to Palestinians and Israelis, requires: (Bold is my emphasis)

·          an end to the Israeli bombardment and siege of Gaza

·          release of the hostages

·          release of Palestinian detainees in Israeli gaols, many held without charge or trial

·          an end to Occupation and Apartheid

·          the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Moved JVL Executive Committee 

27 November 2023

Stop the Genocide Stop the Ethnic Cleansing

Brighton & Hove Trades Council Demonstration Against the Silence of Brighton & Hove Council in the face of Israel’s Nazi style murder campaign 

The Genocidal  'Friendship Song' which Calls to Annihilate Everyone in Gaza

Two weeks ago, Brighton and Hove Trades Council held a demonstration outside Hove Town Hall against the Council’s silence over the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

So far 15,000 Palestinians including more than 6,000 children have been murdered in Gaza. Another 23,000 at least have been injured. This does not include those who are buried under the rubble. This is equivalent to one and a quarter million if it were Britain. 

Not to be missed - Max Blumenthall Interview on Going Underground – What Really Happened on October 7

The Guilty Ones - Not one of these 38 Labour Councillors Has Condemned Israel's Genocidal Attack on Gaza or its Ethnic Cleansing - You Can Contact Them By Email

In response the Labour Group issued a mealy mouthed statement calling for a ‘humanitarian’ as opposed to a permanent ceasefire. Whilst condemning the Palestinian attack on October 7th the statement had nothing to say about Israel’s genocide in Gaza or the open declaration of its leaders that the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza was its objective.

This is in contrast to the over 600 Labour Councillors nationally who had written to Starmer demanding that he call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

If anyone was in doubt about this then the article by Gila Gamliel, Israel’s Intelligence Minister in the Jerusalem Post on 19 November, Victory is an opportunity for Israel in the midst of crisis, should have laid any doubts to rest.

The statement had nothing to say about the calls for extermination of Palestinians in Gaza such as the video on Israel’s main broadcaster Kan by Israeli school girls that called for the annihilation of all Palestinians in Gaza which included a host of Nazi themes such as love sanctified by blood. There was Netanyahu’s comparison of Palestinians with Amalek who god commanded should be wiped out to the last child.

Despite the fact that large numbers of the Israelis killed on October 7th were killed by their own military – see here, here and here – under the Hannibal Directive, Israel has called the 1,200 Israelis killed as the largest massacre since the Holocaust.

This deliberate weaponisation of the holocaust in the service of ethnic cleansing defiles the memory of Jews who died in the holocaust, not because they were ethnic cleansers or oppressed anyone but because they were Jews.

Israelis who were the target of Hamas on October were attacked because Israel has been in occupation of Gaza for 57 years and has laid siege to the territory for 17 years.

It is also not true that October 7 was the biggest death toll of Jews since the holocaust. 6,000 Israelis died in the 1948 War of Independence or Nakba and more died in 1973 in the Yom Kippur War. The holocaust has been weaponised in order to justify genocide.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has refused to condemn the genocide, quite the contrary, he supported the blockade of food, water and fuel in his notorious interview with LBC.

This is why Brighton and Hove Trades Council are organising a demonstration outside a full meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council on Tuesday 28 November at 4 pm.

Tony Greenstein

26 November 2023

The Metropolitan Police Have Taken it Upon Themselves to Decide What We Can & Can’t Read as Books are Seized & Those Selling It Are Arrested

 It Must Have Been Something I Said! Jo Wadsworth of the Anti-Palestinian Brighton and Hove News Threatens to Report Me to the Police!

The Met arrest stall holders selling a book with a Swastika and Zionist Star of David Intertwined - Who the Hell are These Thick Bastards to Decide What We Can and Cannot Read?

All I did was to send Jo Wadsworth of Brighton and Hove News an email giving a link to my blog. True I headed it ‘ENJOY RACIST SCUMBAG’ but that was no reason to respond in the way she did:

Oh no, Tony "notorious antisemite" Greenstein has called me a bad name. How will I ever recover?

To which I responded that this was a good question.  I suggested that the answer lay in Wadsworth ‘Probably (by) gorging on the blood of the children in Gaza.  I should think that would be good recipe for you to try’.

 She had after all been perfectly happy with a multitude of comments defending Israel’s bombardment of hospitals, ambulances, homes and schools, its food, water and fuel  blockade and the murder of over 6,000 children and thousands of adults. In other words collective punishment, a flagrant breach of international law.

Orthodox anti-Zionist Jews in Jerusalem's Mea Sharim Display the Palestinian Flag - If they had been Palestinians the Police would have opened fire

It appears however that Ms Wadsworth is a more sensitive soul than I had given her credit for. She didn’t seem to take my comment that she was wallowing in the blood of thousands of children at all well.

Okay Tony I usually find your insults entertaining in a pathetic kind of way. But that's crossed a line. I'm now asking you not to contact me again and if you persist I will report you to the police.

It seems to have become the latest fashion amongst Zionists to report anything I say to the police. In fact I’m thinking of saving them the trouble and time by designing a handy form which they can email to the Police explaining why they have problems with freedom of speech.

First there was Heidi Bachram and now Jo Wadsworth. Who will be next?

At the same time the Metropolitan Police have decided that they have the right to decide what literature can be openly sold on Zionism at today’s demonstration and what posters can be displayed. According to the Met:

Images were shared on social media showing literature being distributed which featured a swastika inside a Star of David. Officers later spotted the same literature at a stall in Whitehall and arrested four people on suspicion of distributing material likely to stir up racial hatred.

The people they arrested were from the Communist Party of Great Britain Marxist Leninist  [@cpgbml]

I wasn’t aware that intertwining a Swastika and a Zionist Star of David graphically was a criminal offence. As I wrote in my book, Zionism During the Holocaust:

In the spring of 1933, Baron Leopold von Mildenstein, a member of the SS, and Kurt Tuchler of the ZVfD [German Zionist] Executive and their wives, boarded a train at Berlin to travel to Palestine. Tuchler had tried to persuade Mildenstein to write ‘something positive’ about Palestine in the Nazi press. Mildenstein agreed, provided that he was able to visit Palestine first. He stayed for six months and was clearly impressed by the “new Jew.

On his return, Mildenstein published a series of 12 articles in Joseph Goebbels’ paper, Der Angriff, from 26 September to 9 October 1934 under the by-line von Lim’ [Jacob Boas, ‘A Nazi Travels to Palestine’]. This trip was the subject of an article in the eminently respectable History Today of January 1980. Mildenstein served as head of Abteilung 112/II, the Jewish department (Judenreferat) of the Sicherheitsdienst, [SD] from the summer of 1935 to August 1936. Indeed so pleased were the Nazis with the trip that they struck a medal to commemorate the trip.

It is perfectly legitimate to argue that Zionist ideology and Nazi ideology share a lot in common. The Zionists admitted this themselves. On 21 June 1933, the German Zionist Federation wrote a letter to Hitler in which they explained that:

Zionism has no illusion about the difficulty of the Jewish condition which consists above all in an abnormal occupational pattern and in the fault of an intellectual and moral posture not rooted in one’s own tradition… an answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural and moral renewal of Jewry… On the foundation of the new state, which has established the principle of race... fruitful activity for the fatherland is possible. Our acknowledgement of Jewish nationality provides for a clear and sincere relationship to the German people and its national and racial realities. Precisely because we don’t wish to falsify these fundamentals, because we too are against mixed marriages and are for maintaining the purity of the Jewish group… The realisation of Zionism could only be hurt by resentment of Jews abroad against the German development. Boycott propaganda… is in essence fundamentally unZionist, because Zionism wants not to do battle but to convince and to build.’

The full letter can be found in Lucy Dawidowicz, A Holocaust Reader, pp. 150-153.  Who the hell are the Metropolitan Police to decide we can and cannot read? Of course it will give offence to Zionists to be reminded of the times when they had close fraternal relations with the Nazi State. However this is part of the historical record and only in Police States do thick coppers decide what people can and cannot read and see.