29 August 2010

Jonathan Hoffman's Lies Catch Up With Him

Jonathan Hoffman, Co-Chair of the Zionist Federation Eats Humble Pie!
We all get things wrong and by itself that is no reason to gloat. But Jonathan Hoffman, co-Chair of the Zionist Federation is in a different league. He is the personification of Zionist Hasbarah (propaganda). He deliberately lies whenever he feels that it will serve his needs, except that he is not very good at it.

You will recall the UCU meeting at SOAS on November 4th last year. Hoffman was heckled when he got up to speak but Conservative activist, Raheem Kassam claimed that Hoffman was subject to anti-semitic abuse, the repeated chant of ‘Jewish’ etc. at him.

Hoffman, who hadn’t realised at the time that he was being subject anti-semitic abuse(!) lost no opportunity to claim victimhood. The problem was the meeting was videotaped and it was quite clear that he hadn’t been the subject of anti-semitic abuse. Given the number of Jews in the audience it would have been highly surprising if they also hadn’t noticed. But instead of saying that he was mistaken Hoffman went out on a limb, even when the BBC withdrew, within 24 hours, its report of the alleged incident and later apologised.

In a comment to an article I posted on the Jewdas site Hoffman stated that ‘If Israel ‘nationality’ was confined to Jews that leaves non-Jews in Israel effectively stateless.’ This was in response to my assertion that there is no such thing and never has been an Israeli nationality. An Israeli nationality would be anathema to Zionism, which holds that Israel is the State of the Jews wherever they live. Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister called advocates of an Israeli nationality ‘Canaanites’ i.e. idolaters.

Hoffman is Co-Chair of the Zionist Federation in this country. He is in a position to know that Israel’s use, in English, of the term Israeli alongside the category ‘nationality’ in its passports is a deliberate lie, whose purpose is to confuse. Yet he wrote: ‘If Israel ‘nationality’ was confined to Jews that leaves non-Jews in Israel effectively stateless.’

Precisely Jonathan. And now are you going to admit that Israeli Arabs are effectively stateless?

No. Instead he is now lying again. This time in an effort to defuse critics of his de-facto alliance with the racist English Defence League, which contains numerous fascist and neo-Nazis, including the fruitcake Roberta Moore, head of its Jewish Division, he labelled a photograph on my blog ‘photoshopped’. This was a grossly defamatory attack on photographer David Hoffman, who clearly threatened JH with a libel action. As a result, Jonathan Hoffman has now been forced to publish a humiliating apology on his Jewish Chronicle blog!

The wording below makes it clear that Jonathan Hoffman’s first resort is to lie, lie and lie again.

‘On my Jewish Chronicle blog I described a photograph taken on 14 August 2010 at the pro-Ahava demonstration as "fraudulent". I also wrote "That photo was 'Photoshopped' -- and it is bloody obvious that it was 'Photoshopped' I do not discuss but I do identify lies and fraudulent Photoshopped photos."

These statements were entirely without foundation and I had made no
attempt to check their accuracy. I accept that the photo was absolutely genuine and had not been tampered with in any way. The photographer, David Hoffman, is a well known and respected photojournalist and I apologise to him unreservedly for my hasty and unfounded comments and for the distress and embarrassment caused.’

20 August 2010

More Attacks on Freedom of Speech for anti-Zionists and Dissenters

Jonathan Hoffman Threatens to Sue Tony Greenstein for Reporting the Zionist-EDL Connection
According to his comment unless I take the story down about the joint demonstration between EDL and the Zionist Federation, of which he is the co-chair, Jonathan Hoffman's lawyers will be talking to me from 8 am on Monday!

Bit early I thought for a chat, but I suspect it isn’t about an invitation to breakfast. It would appear that JH doesn’t like the truth. The photograph clearly shows him and Roberta Moore demonstrating together and no attempt was made by the ZF to dissociate themselves from the EDL.

But what Hoffman is trying to obscure is the fact that the EDL support Zionist counter-demonstrations in support of the murders on the Mavi Marmara and selling stolen goods in Ahava shop? What is this pole of attraction between the BNP, EDL and most of Europe’s far right and Zionism? Could it be joint hatred of Muslims?

Well the fascists are in no doubt about the matter. Only Israel deals with Muslims as they ought to be dealt with, which is why the BNP supported the 2006 attack on Lebanon and the 2008/9 attack on Gaza.

As Lee Barnes, their legal advisor stated on 28th July 2006,
As a Nationalist I can say that I support Israel 100 % in their dispute with Hezbollah. In fact, I hope they wipe Hezbollah off the Lebanese map and bomb them until they leave large greasy craters in the cities where their Islamic extremist cantons of terror once stood. [accessed 20.8.10.]
Even the staid old Jewish Chronicle recently had a post entitled 'BNP praises Israel minister on foreigners' on November 5, 2009 reporting that 'the British National Party has leapt on comments by Israel’s Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, to suggest that the extreme-right party shares a common immigration policy with Israel.'

And what were these comments? According to Israel's 'Justice' Minister, Eli Yishai:
"If hundreds of thousands of migrant workers come here now, they will bring with them a profusion of diseases: hepatitis, measles, tuberculosis, AIDS and drug [addiction]"
Strange that. It was what anti-Semites and of course the Nazis used to say about the Jews. The target has changed but the ideas remain the same and once again the Zionists are happy for them to oblige.

And why shouldn't they love Israel? It was only a couple of weeks ago that Benjamin Netanyahu explained, in response to those poor sentimental souls in Israel who didn't want the children of migrant labourers to be deported, that the decision was
'"influenced by two primary considerations - the humanitarian consideration and the Zionist consideration. We're looking for a way to absorb and adopt to our hearts children who were brought up and raised here as Israelis. On the other hand, we don't want to create an incentive that will lead to hundreds of thousands of illegal migrant workers flooding the country," Ha'aretz 1.8.10.
Translation of this means that the Zionist and the humanitarian considerations were opposed. Zionist considerations mean a Jewish State i.e. as few as possible non-Jewish children and certainly no more. No wonder the BNP just love Zionism and Israel!

As Ruth Smeed for the Board of Deputies of British Jews explained, in the Guardian of 10th April 2009:
"The BNP website is now one of the most Zionist on the web - it goes further than any of the mainstream parties in its support of Israel and at the same time demonises Islam and the Muslim world
Since I shall not be retracting a word that I wrote I expect m’learned friends to be hauling me off in front of an Old Bailey jury. As I’m not an investment banker/ economist like Jonathan Hoffman, I shall undoubtedly be defending myself when this eventually comes to court.

Brighton Council Considers Appeal Against Magistrates Decision that Campaign Stalls can Have a Collection Box

And further to the Zionists’ use of the libel courts to prevent freedom of expression, we have news that Brighton Council is considering an appeal against my acquittal by Brighton Magistrates of making an illegal collection on behalf of Brighton Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Somewhat ironically The Argus, which didn’t report the original trial has reported the Council’s reaction!

Judging by reaction from people in other places, it would seem that Sussex Police are not unique in harassing activists. I spoke to someone last night from an animal rights group in Southampton which is being harassed by the police for similar reasons. Of course they wouldn’t be doing this to groups they have no quarrel with, so it is another example of the selective use of laws to harass peaceful protest and the dissemination of information in a democratic society.

Our argument was and is that this is a breach of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, i.e. freedom of expression.

It appears I’m going to be busy in the Courts next year!

I will be away for a week starting Saturday so this blog may not be updated given I don’t know how often I shall have Internet access.

Tony Greenstein

18 August 2010

Internet Killed Israeli PR

I'm not sure that this is quite accurate but the general flavour is right. It's much more difficult for Israel to control the diffusion of news with the Internet and also TV broadcasters like Al Jazeera.


16 August 2010

Auschwitz – American Kitsch

Auschwitz Replaces Massada as Israel's Foundational Myth
I first visited a concentration/extermination camp in the early 1990’s at Sachsenhausen, north of Berlin. Like Auschwitz it had the infamous ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ (Work Makes You Free). Unlike Auschwitz there was no fanfare, a headphone to listen to, but the camp was not advertised to the outside world and there were few visitors. This summer, as part of a larger tour of Europe, I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau with my son Tom.

The first thing that struck me about Auschwitz-Birkenau today was that it has in essence become one stop on the tourist itinerary. Signs even tell you that you need a tour guide to go round. Like most people, we paid about £20 each to a tour company to provide transport in a minibus, (seating 26) to take us there and hire a guide.

After about an hour you know you are near when you see a sign for Oswiecim the Polish village which was partly destroyed, to make way for this complex of extermination and labour camps. The first places to greet us as we entered were a fast food place and then the café.

We were allocated a guide with whom we had to stick at all times since there so many other tour guides and groups. An indication that Auschwitz is now the centre of different national interests is that signs were in English, Polish and Hebrew, the latter a language that few of those murdered would have understood, since the main language of East European Jews was Yiddish.

It was also in the mid-1990’s that I first experienced how the lessons of the holocaust have been appropriated and harnessed by the West and Israel for their own politico-economic interests. I visited the Holocaust museum in Washington DC where I read an inscription containing the poem for which Pastor Niemoller\; ‘First they came for the Communists, Trade Unionists, Jews and then me.’ Except that Communists had been replaced by Socialists.

What also became clear about the tour guides is that they are essentially rehearsing a script. We were told that no one had escaped from the inner circle of Auschwitz. There were 2 rings of watch towers. When I told her this was not so and that Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, and later two more Jews, had done just this, she at first suggested they had worked on outside gangs. In fact Vrba and his companion worked in Canada, the name given to the massive warehouse where the goods of those murdered were sorted and sifted. She confused the Riegner telegram of August 1942, which the Zionists and Stephen Wise suppressed until November of that year, which first announced the final solution to the world with when Roosevelt first learnt of Auschwitz – 1943 from a Polish agent and in 1944 from the Auschwitz Protocols of Vrba/Wetzler. Likewise she was unaware that Soviet prisoners of war were the first to be gassed in a peasant’s hut in September 1941, predating the Wannsee conference, where plans for the final solution were allegedly drawn up, by 4 months. (see Christopher Browning’s The Final Solution, pp. 356-7)

It was in short an error-strewn explanation acceptable to all who have a vested interest in Auschwitz as the justification for Israel’s oppression today. Poland, being a good friend of Israel, conducts the tours accordingly. Instead of the solemnity of Sachsenhausen there is the tourist fanfare of Auschwitz. In short Auschwitz-Birkenau is a money spinner for the Polish state and in return loads of Israeli Jewish high-school students visit in order to learn one of the foundational lessons of why Israel came into being. Auschwitz, whose bombing the Zionists failed to campaign around at the time (Ben-Gurion opposing idea altogether) and to whom nearly half a million Hungarian Jews were deported in the spring of 1944 after the Zionists had done a deal to save the elite of Hungarian Jewry, is now used to justify further racism and murder, whilst the remaining survivors of the holocaust live in poverty in Israel and America as Zionist organisations have siphoned off the funds.

It goes without saying that to see the heap of prosthetic limbs and the mounds of clothing, to say nothing of the victims, especially the child victims of Auschwitz, is heart-rending. It is unfortunate that Auschwitz, the symbol of fascist barbarity, the deliberate and industrial extermination of millions of people, has been harnessed to justify the cruelties of Zionism. Just as the goal of Nazism was to make Germany Jew-free, so today Zionism’s goal is the Judification of the Negev and Galilee.

Perhaps this brought out best when I asked, in both the Auschwitz and the Birkenau bookshops whether there was anything written by Rudolph Vrba, who together with Alfred Wetzler, were the second and third Jewish escapees who had broken out of Auschwitz on April 9th 1944 and reached Slovakia 15 days later. Their Auschwitz Protocols described the camp and its purpose in detail yet in Hungary itself the Zionist leadership sat on it. When eventually they were publicised thanks to Swiss newspapers and then a BBC broadcast, the deportations halted and and estimated 200,000 Hungarian Jews were saved.

Maybe I had expected something more from the visit, possibly the quiet horror which is all that remains of Sachsenhausen, instead Auschwitz has become a tourist destination.

Tony Greenstein

14 August 2010

Jonathan Hoffman of the Zionist Federation and the EDL’s Roberta Moore Hold a Joint Demonstration

They were almost holding hands!

Photographs are from Robert Hoffman

I know Harold Wilson once said that a week is a long time in politics and 10 weeks must seem like an eternity, but one would have thought that one's principles might last a little longer. But then again, demonisation of Muslims and the Palestinians and unqualified defence of Israel, right or wrong, are the only principles that Jonathan Hoffman, esteemed co-Chairman of the Zionist Federation, holds to.

On 3rd June Jonathan Hoffman was spluttering with outrage on this blog at the accusation that he had co-organised a demonstration with the English Defence League. And naturally I gave him enough rope to hang himself with. Indeed in the interests of fairness I amended the article as there was no proof that it had actually been jointly organised by the Zionist Federation and the EDL. This was the Zionist demonstration in support of the murder of 9 activists aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Hoffman was emphatic. In particular he denied telling reporter that ‘‘there was no proof of any link with the BNP.’ On the contrary, he wrote that: That is wrong. I never said that. I said that there was crossover between the EDL and BNP and that therefore the EDL were not welcome.’

In so far as there was a ‘crossover’ between the BNP and EDL he wouldn’t work with the latter. Presumably if the EDL had just confined themselves to attacking Muslims, and didn’t have any links with the BNP, they would be kosher. In response to my accusations Hoffman was clear:

Nowhere have I done that. It was just Another despicable ad hominem lie’ and it would appear that I have it in for JH personally!

Well there is a very good article by Shaul Adar in Ha'aretz entitled What are Israeli flags and Jewish activists doing at demonstrations sponsored by the English Defence League?’ It is a very good question, and one that Jonathan Hoffman, Co-Chairman of the Zionist Federation, has been doing his best not to answer these past few months. The Ha'aretz article is subtitled: Call it a struggle against a common foe: Islam. Or a journey into the heart of darkness. Or perhaps further proof that Europe is starting to lose its mind again.’

It’s not that I haven’t tried to get Hoffman to answer a few questions about the EDL. I ran articles on the EDL attack on a Birmingham PSC stall, on the Zionist Federation counter-demonstration with the EDL outside the Israeli Embassy in June, where EDL members took part alongside their Zionist comrades, as well as more general articles and a report on Harrow where the EDL were repulsed.

I was even threatened with a libel action by Hoffman.

‘This is a Lie.’ he wrote on my blog. ‘Not the first one. You will take it down now. I shall be speaking to a lawyer.’
Jonathan Hoffman
3 June 2010 11:24

Well surprise surprise. At the regular picket of Ahava, the Israeli shop in Covent Garden which sells stolen ‘beauty’ products from the Dead Sea today, what do we find? Not only a joint Zionist Federation demonstration but Hoffman and the leader of EDL’s Jewish Division skipping down the road together and all but holding hands!

As John Junor used to say 'You couldn't make it up. Pass the sick bag Alice.' Once again we see Zionists and outright racists holding hands against the common foe.

And to be fair, because I always try to be fair, Jonathan Hoffman in his comments, apart from the ritual abuse 'Commissar Greenstein' and 'communist paradise' doesn't at all deny that he demonstrated ALONGSIDE the EDL. So now it's quite clear, Jonathan Hoffman, Co-Chairman of the Zionist Federation in Britain is perfectly happy to demonstrate with fascists and racists. And far from trying to stop him I welcome this fact! It proves everything we've been saying.

Indeed so little has he to say that Roberta Moore of EDL's Jewish i.e. Zionist Division tries to give him an alibi. Apparently 'the EDL Jewish Division imposed our presence upon them, and they had no choice.' All I can say is that the pictures don't lie. Hoffman seems positively ecstatic that Roberta is demonstrating alongside him. He doesn't look imposed upon or henpecked to me!!

Tony Greenstein

13 August 2010

Tony Greenstein Acquitted of Unlawful Collection

Press Release - Brighton Magistrates rule that Stalls having a Collection Box do NOT Require a Permit from the local Council

Well it may not have been the most famous legal victory there’s been but it made it into the Guardian Diary. Once again Smash EDO is having a liberating effect on the Brighton judiciary!

On a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon on January 9th, Brighton Police decided to mount an undercover operation against protestors staffing an EDO stall in the main shopping centre of Churchill Square in Brighton. Brighton PSC also had a stall a couple of feet away.

Being famed for their intelligence (they detained 85 Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, Walter Wolfgang a few years ago under the ‘anti-terrorism’ legislation), Brighton plod decided that the 2 stalls were in fact one. A review earlier in the morning of 9th January outlined the strategy. They were to target the collection tins on the tables of the EDO stall.

Plod thereby visited and after a little ‘persuasion’ I agree to remove said box and put it under the table on the principle of anything for a quiet life, especially when it was freezing cold. When Her Majesty’s best had departed I then put said box back on the stall.

Unbeknown to us a certain Police Sergeant Baker, whose acquaintance with the law he was enforcing was quaint and remote at best, called back his mobile squad, led by PC Dodd (not not Dudd!) who, although he knew nothing about the law in question (Baker didn’t even get the name of the law right in his witness statement) knew enough to nick the boxes of EDO & PSC.

EDO’s box contained precisely nothing (apart from a moth) whereas PSC’s contained £10.22 which I insisted on counting out. Denied legal aid at first I appealed to the magistrates who dealt with the last adjournment, who were persuaded by either my eloquence or helplessness to overturn the said decision of what used to be the Legal Aid Board, now the CLS.

Our case was simple. Brighton Council had drawn up regulations which didn’t correctly implement the Act, and the process of applying to the Council didn’t correctly implement their own regulations. The Council Officer, a hapless lass by the name of Sara-Jane McNaught described herself as a ‘processor’. She dealt with the applications but steadfastly refused any comment on whether said regulations were being implemented etc. She was a cipher in the best traditions and reminded me of Tennyson’s saying in the Charge of the Light Brigade:
Mine if not to Reason Why
Theirs is But to Do and Die
It has been the banality of evil but in this case it is just banal.

The magistrates, after hearing the excellent counsel for the Defence, Brian Richardson of Garden Court Chambers acquitted me, on quite novel grounds that no one had even considered. The Council regulations stipulated that each collector (we had denied collecting money, we merely provided facility for people to donate who detested all Israel’s works) had to have a collection box. As I didn’t have one, the collection box in question being the collective property of PSC, I was acquitted.

So Jonathan Hoffman will have to wait a little longer before I receive Israeli justice.

And my son Tom spent a day in Court learning about the intricacies of a trial in magistrates court!!

Below is a press release and an item from said Guardian Diary:
Legal history in the making at Brighton magistrates' court today, where local activist Tony Greenstein has been arraigned by the rozzers under the Miscellaneous Provisions Act (1916) for running a stall last January for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which had a tin for donations to the cause. They claim the collection was unauthorised, but Tony's arguing no other groups have been prosecuted, and anyway he's been running the stall for years unmolested. He's got legal aid too, so the forces of law'n'order may live to regret taking him on.
Brighton Magistrates rule that Stalls having a Collection Box do NOT Require a Permit from the local Council

At a day long hearing at Brighton magistrates court, Tony Greenstein was found not guilty of collecting money contrary to s.5 of the Factories and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1916.

Brighton magistrates decided that because the Council's implementing regulations stipulate that each collector has to have their own collection box, Mr Greenstein could not be guilty of being a ‘collector’ under the Act. On most stalls there is usually just one collective tin.

The Defence argued strongly that the effect of making stalls apply for a collection permit, when permits are only for one off events or at most a series of events, would be to make it more difficult to run campaigns such as Palestine Solidarity Campaign, No War/Solidarity Groups as well as the many ad-hoc groups who spring up over the building of a new supermarket etc.

The Council’s witness, Sara-Jane McNaught, was unable to comment on whether the Council itself had correctly implemented the Act and was forced to resile from crucial parts of her own evidence.

It was abundantly clear that the reason for the Police action, when Brighton PSC has run a stall a stall without police objecting to a collection tin for a decade, was that Brighton PSC had set up their stall alongside EDO-MBM, the group 8 of whose activists were recently acquitted of criminal damage for decomissioning an arms factory.

The Police believed that both stalls were one and the same. PC Dodd, who carried out the confiscation, and the undercover officer in charge, Police Sergeant Baker, had at best a hazy knowledge of the law in question or even the existence of implementing regulations having only been briefed that same morning. PSC was caught in the middle of an undercover operation the Police had mounted against Smash EDO.

The case of course sets no precedent other than in Brighton & Hove itself. What it does mean is that the Police will now think twice about harassing stalls using their collection box as a pretext.

Brian Richardson of Garden Court Chambers acted for the Defence.

6 August 2010

Israel Refuses to Pay Medical Bills for American Jewish Teenager that it Blinded in One Eye

Jewish Chronicle Editor, Stephen Pollard says the blinding in one eye, by Israeli Border Guards of Emily Honchowicz, "will make a fine addition to my 'delete' folder." Jewish Chronicle Editor, Stephen Pollard, says that he is not interested in the truth of what happened. I wrote to Pollard, ex-editor of the Daily Express (owned by Britain's major porn merchant, Richard Desmond, asking why he wasn't interested in printing any details of this story. He wrote back saying that it was only fit for his 'delete folder'. (Correspondence below).

This is of course par for the course for the Jewish Chronicle, the oldest Jewish newspaper in the world and arguably one of the worst too. The 'JC' as it is known, had a peak circulation of 55,000 and only a few years ago it was over 40,000. Now it's less than 30,000 in Britain and still falling under Pollard's screeching. He has made the paper so hopelessly biased on Israel, so incapable of even accepting that there might be a case against Israel's militarism, that except for those already devoted, it is only succeeding in putting off those already committed.

You may recall that I have previously covered the case of Emily Henchowicz, who was blinded in one eye when a tear gas grenade was fired straight at her. This was the same day as the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and Emily and others were protesting about this attack at the checkpoint at Qualandiya.

Emily, which I didn’t know at the time, is also an Israeli citizen. As an art student she seems to have met with members of ISM and went to this ‘illegal’ demonstration (another example of Israeli ‘democracy’).

Her eye was destroyed and as she describes in a fascinating interview with Democracy Now, she was taken in an ambulance first to Ramallah and then to the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. The Palestinian ambulance wasn’t allowed in Israel and she had to be transferred into an Israeli ambulance at the checkpoint.

She describes what an Israeli ‘inquiry’ was like. Emily comes across, unsurprisingly, as a fairly naive kid, stunned by her experiences, but she is taken aback at what the Israeli ‘inquiry’ actually consists of. They weren’t interested in where she and her assailant were standing, the distance between them etc. No they were more interested in why she came to Israel, who her friends were etc. And if they do this for an American/Israel citizen you can be sure that inquiries when it comes to Palestinians are non-existent.

Emily, the daughter of an Israeli born father and granddaughter of holocaust survivors has learnt the hard way that Israel is an oppressive and racist regime.

The final insult of course is that Israel refuses to pay the medical bills for her treatment in hospital. Literally they want their pound of flesh.

Tony Greenstein

Israel refuses to pay medical bills for American-Jewish protester who lost eye

Published 10:50 28.07.10

Emily Henochowicz was wounded by a tear gas canister in a demonstration following Israel's Gaza flotilla raid.

The Israeli government is refusing to pay the cost of medical care for an American-Jewish activist who lost an eye when Border Police officers fired a tear gas canister at her during a demonstration.

Emily Henochowicz, who studying at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem and also holds Israeli citizenship, took part in a protest on May 31, shortly after Israel killed nine pro-Palestinian activists in a raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

Emily Henochowicz after losing an eye at a protest at the Qalandiyah checkpoint − she was struck by a teargas grenade.
Dozens of activists took part in the protest against the Israeli blockade of Gaza next to the Qalandia checkpoint, south of Ramallah.

According to the IDF, demonstrators began to throw stones at the Border Police, after which the army responded by firing tear gas canisters.

According to Henochowicz, one policeman shot a canister directly at her face, shattering her jaw and causing her to lose her left eye. A Haaretz reporter witnessed the incident.

Following her her treatment at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, Henochowicz's father, who had traveled from the U.S., was handed a bill for NIS 14,000. Under advice from his lawyer, Michael Sfard, he asked the Defense Ministry cover the expense, but officials refused.

In justifying the refusal, the Defense Ministry claimed the tear gas was not fired directly at Henochowicz.

"The canister ricocheted at her after it rebound off a concrete barrier and changed direction - it was not shot directly at her," the ministry said in a statement drafted by lawyer Sharon Zimmerman. The statement also accused Henochowicz of putting herself at risk by voluntarily participating in a breach of the peace.

In response, Sfard said that as police were still investigating the incident, it was impossible for the Defense Ministry to judge exactly what occurred.

"Either way, even if wounding of my client was the result of negligence and not criminal intent -even then the State of Israel has a moral, ethical and legal obligation to pay for her treatment," Sfard wrote.

The Defense Ministry responded: "From our reports, we know that the Border Police acted in accordance with the law at the violent demonstration at Qalandia, and that the shooting of tear gas canisters at demonstrators was justified. Of course, we regret that Emily Henochowicz was wounded in her eye. But under such circumstances, the Defense Ministry does not cover the expenses of medical treatment."

Re: Emily Henochowicz - the American Jewish Student who lost an eye
Stephen Pollard
Add to Contacts
To:tony greenstein

Dear Mr Greenstein,

Thank you for your email, which will make a fine addition to my 'delete' folder.
Stephen Pollard

Sent from my iPhone so please reply to

On 3 Jul 2010, at 22:34, tony greenstein <tonygreenstein@yahoo.com> wrote:

Dear Mr Pollard,

Below is a link to a story I blogged about an ordinary American Jewish student, Emily Honochowicz, who lost an eye peacefully protesting at a checkpoint in Jerusalem, the same day as the Mavi Marmara. A tear gas canister having been shot directly at her.


I realise that the habits of editing tabloid newspapers die hard but isn't it time you covered not just this but the more general drift towards a police state in Israel? The attacks on secular Arab MK Haneen Zoabi, no supporter of Hamas, a liberated woman but clearly not the type that Israel's knee-jerk supporters like, being the object of virulent abuse in the Knesset.

Instead of being an echo chamber to Jonathan Hoffman isn't it about time you actually started reporting the more uncomfortable facts? When people look back this period of the Jewish Chronicle will come to be seen as one of its darkest and least glorious chapters.


Tony Greenstein

The Destruction of the Bedouin Village of El-Arakib

[The following four photos are by Ata Abu Madyam of Arab Negev News]
Hundreds of Israeli Schoolchildren are brought along to participate and be educated in the meaning of Zionism

You will recall the pretexts over the starvation siege of Gaza and the road blocks/confiscations etc. in the West Bank. ‘Terrorism’. Problem is that the Bedouin have never resorted to violence in response to their ethnic cleansing.

But who cares. They are clearly a demographic threat to the Jewish state and what is more their villages are ‘unrecognised’. Something the BBC report doesn’t , of course, explain.

In Israel half the Arab villages are ‘unrecognised’ i.e. they are denied all official recognition, have no electricity, sewerage facilities etc and are liable, at a moments notice to destruction. El Arakib is in the Negev desert, prime territory for Judaisation (read Aryanisation). Therefore their inhabitants must go into the Indian Reservations that Israel has planned for them.

There isn’t one single unrecognised Jewish village or town in Israel. The very idea of such a thing would be unthinkable. Jews are there as of right, the Palestinians are there on sufferance. That is the basis from which all flows. What is even more disgusting is that not only was the Israeli state intent on destroying a whole village, throwing the villagers on to the sand literally, but they brought along hundreds of Israeli high-school students to both cheer and participate.

This is Israeli ‘education’. This gives the lie to the idea that it is the Arabs who somehow teach demonisation of Jews in their curriculum whereas, as a recent study showed, fullly half Israeli portrayals of Arabs are as backwards human beings (at best).
Al Arakib is being demolished to make way for a JNF forest. It is reason enough to redouble our efforts against this pernicious organisation.

Below are different reports on what has happened.
Tony Greenstein

July 26th, 2010, Tuesday, 5:30am | by Jesse Bacon by Yeela Raanan.

Thousands of police are in the village of el-Araqib right now – beginning a mass evacuation, demolition, and erasure of this historical Bedouin village. if you have access to the media, please send them to this village as soon as possible! the village of el-Araqib is between Rahat and Beersheva, and in a location that the Goldberg commission deemed outside of the areas allowed for the Negev Arabs… an area designated only for Jews… the JNF (Jewish National Fund) is planting a forest on this village lands – to make sure that the Bedouin cannot live on their village lands or use them for agriculture. the villagers turned to the israeli courts, as the JNF were planting this forest at the behest of the Israeli government, but against Israeli law… the people of el-Araqib won the court battle… but this morning it seems that the Government of Israel has started a war — of the Government against its own citizens. for more information:
Dr. Yeela Raanan, Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages (RCUV). +972 54 7487005 yallylivnat@gmail.com

AL-ARAKIB, ISRAEL — On July 26, Israeli police demolished 45 buildings in the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Arakib, razing the entire village to the ground to make way for a Jewish National Fund forest. The destruction was part of a larger project to force the Bedouin community of the Negev away from their ancestral lands and into seven Indian reservation-style communities the Israeli government has constructed for them. The land will then be open for Jewish settlers, including young couples in the army and those who may someday be evacuated from the West Bank after a peace treaty is signed. For now, the Israeli government intends to uproot as many villages as possible and erase them from the map by establishing “facts on the ground” in the form of JNF forests. (See video of of al-Arakib’s demolition here).

One of the most troubling aspects of the destruction of al-Arakib was a report by CNN that the hundreds of Israeli riot police who stormed the village were accompanied by “busloads of cheering civilians.” Who were these civilians and why didn’t CNN or any outlet investigate further?

I traveled to al-Arakib yesterday with a delegation from Ta’ayush, an Israeli group that promotes a joint Arab-Jewish struggle against the occupation. The activists spent the day preparing games and activities for the village’s traumatized children, helping the villagers replace their uprooted olive groves, and assisting in the reconstruction of their demolished homes. In a massive makeshift tent where many of al-Arakib’s residents now sleep, I interviewed village leaders about the identity of the cheering civilians. Each one confirmed the presence of the civilians, describing how they celebrated the demolitions. As I compiled details, the story grew increasingly horrific. After interviewing more than a half dozen elders of the village, I was able to finally identify the civilians in question. What I discovered was more disturbing than I had imagined.

Arab Negev News publisher Ata Abu Madyam supplied me with a series of photos he took of the civilians in action. They depicted Israeli high school students who appeared to have volunteered as members of the Israeli police civilian guard (I am working on identifying some participants by name). Prior to the demolitions, the student volunteers were sent into the villagers’ homes to extract their furniture and belongings. A number of villagers including Abu Madyam told me the volunteers smashed windows and mirrors in their homes and defaced family photographs with crude drawings. Then they lounged around on the furniture of al-Arakib residents in plain site of the owners. Finally, according to Abu Matyam, the volunteers celebrated while bulldozers destroyed the homes.

“What we learned from the summer camp of destruction,” Abu Madyam remarked, “is that Israeli youth are not being educated on democracy, they are being raised on racism.” (The cover of the latest issue of Madyam’s Arab Negev News features a photo of Palestinians being expelled to Jordan in 1948 juxtaposed with a photo of a family fleeing al-Arakib last week. The headline reads, “Nakba 2010.”)

The Israeli civilian guard, which incorporates 70,000 citizens including youth as young as 15 (about 15% of Israeli police volunteers are teenagers), is one of many programs designed to incorporate Israeli children into the state’s military apparatus. It is not hard to imagine what lessons the high school students who participated in the leveling of al-Arakib took from their experience, nor is it especially difficult to predict what sort of citizens they will become once they reach adulthood. Not only are they being indoctrinated to swear blind allegiance to the military, they are learning to treat the Arab outclass as less than human. The volunteers’ behavior toward Bedouins, who are citizens of Israel and serve loyally in Israeli army combat units despite widespread racism, was strikingly reminiscent of the behavior of settler youth in Hebron who pelt Palestinian shopkeepers in the old city with eggs, rocks and human waste. If there is a distinction between the two cases, it is that the Hebron settlers act as vigilantes while the teenagers of Israeli civilian guard vandalize Arab property as agents of the state.
The spectacle of Israeli youth helping destroy al-Arakib helps explain why 56% of Jewish Israeli high school students do not believe Arabs should be allowed to serve in the Knesset – why the next generation wants apartheid. Indeed, the widespread indoctrination of Israeli youth by the military apparatus is a central factor in Israel’s authoritarian trend. It would be difficult for any adolescent boy to escape from an experience like al-Arakib, where adults in heroic warrior garb encourage him to participate in and gloat over acts of massive destruction, with even a trace of democratic values.

As for the present condition of Israeli democracy, it is essential to consider the way in which the state pits its own citizens against one another, enlisting the Jewish majority as conquerers while targeting the Arab others as, in the words of Zionist founding father Chaim Weizmann, “obstacles that had to be cleared on a difficult path.” Historically, only failing states have encouraged such corrosive dynamics to take hold. That is why the scenes from al-Arakib, from the demolished homes to the uprooted gardens to the grinning teens who joined the mayhem, can be viewed as much more than the destruction of a village. They are snapshots of the phenomenon that is laying Israeli society as a whole to waste.

See also BBC Report. 'Israel police raze 'illegal' Bedouin village in Negev'