Guardian

By the Company He Keeps


This is a guest post by Israelinurse

If, according to the old saying, one can judge a man by the company he keeps, can one also judge a writer by the sources he chooses to use? If so, self-styled Israel ‘expert’ Ben White has scored several serious own-goals in his latest shabby attempt to demonise Israel.

White’s first source comes from no less than the ‘Electronic Intifada’. Of course no sane person would expect to find credible, objective information on that site, but the caption under the picture on the linked page made me chuckle.

“A waterstation in front of an unrecognized village, 5 km from Bir Saba. Bedouin do not have access to this waterstation. (Photo: Ameer Makhoul)”

This of course implies that other people – presumably evil Zionists – do get water from it. Not so, I’m afraid; look at the valves on top of the water pipe. These clearly indicate that this is not a water station from which people obtain water; they are in fact air-release valves designed to eliminate air from, and therefore regulate pressure in, water pipelines.

Now you are doubtless wondering how a woman in the healthcare business like myself knows so much about air-release valves. Well it just so happens that these valves are made in one factory in Israel by a company called A.R.I. and by complete coincidence, I was a shareholder in that factory for 21 years, so I would recognise them from 100 meters. Nice try, Mr. White.

White’s next link is to a Y-net article about the closure of ‘Tipat Halav’ clinics in Bedouin villages. Although a statement in the article declares that “no-one would close a clinic located in a Jewish community”, it is quite clear from the same article that exactly that has happened too, so White’s implications that the “official reason” is somewhat suspect fall short. As explained in an equivalent article from the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli Ministry of Health is trying to solve the problem of a severe shortage of staff by training nurses from the Bedouin sector and is considering offering existing nurses incentives to relocate to the Negev.

As a former employee of ‘Clalit’ myself, I can vouch for the fact that there has been a shortage of nurses in Israel for at least 15 years that I know of. In the (predominantly Jewish) rural area in which I practiced government run ‘Mother and Baby’ clinics, or ‘Tipat Halav’ as they were formerly known, have closed down too and the services are now outsourced to the general clinics run by Clalit Health Services in a bid to combat staff shortages and increase efficiency.

White’s third, fourth, and sixth come from Adalah, his seventh from Ha’aretz – an article written by an Adalah employee – and his sixteenth source from an Adalah Urban and Regional Planner.

Adalah is an NGO operating in Israel with a very specific political agenda. In 2007, Adalah called for the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees whilst simultaneously proposing an end to Jewish immigration except under humanitarian circumstances. In other words, Adalah wishes to see the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

For his twelfth source, White uses a Human Rights Watch report, the link to which does not open, but no matter; seeing as the HRW report was largely compiled from material supplied by Adalah, the reader will get the general idea, particularly as by now we are all aware of HRW’s reliance upon some rather suspect NGOs for its information.

Of course those familiar with the shoddy work of Ben White in his infamous book will not be in the least surprised by this latest missive. In all fairness, what would we expect from a man who recommends the writings of a Holocaust denier such as Garaudy?

Ben White is on a mission to persuade the world that Israel should not exist, so it hardly comes as a shock that he would stoop to the lowest possible sources in order to ‘prove’ his point.

In his final paragraph, White claims to have exposed the “myth of Israel as the region’s only democracy”. Anyone who can persuade himself of that needs a serious reality check. And anyone who publishes such ridiculous propaganda, based on such obviously suspect sources, even more so.

18 replies »

  1. Israelinurse, how can you say that the EI isn’t quite the cat’s meeouw — Ben White is writing for them!
    Good job with the “waterstation” which is “5km form Bir Saba” — Beer Sheva, perhaps?

  2. Oh Ben.

    All the very serious problems of the dispossessed and victimised in the seriously racist country Brazil and yet The Cherubic One obsesses about the horrible Zionist entity.

    He fits in at CI(F) so well. Like a sand slug in the putrid mud.

    How about an article on Israel’s dreadful record of Academic and Scientific achievement to balance The Cherubic One’s ‘deep appreciation’ of wicked Israel.

  3. Thanks for your information re the ‘water station’. Dry facts – ha!

    Why am I not surprised that Electronic Intifada’s practised ploy – that of leading the White Man by the nose (or should I say tooth) – has worked again? The gullible White Man – so easily led into hatred of Jews.

    Ignorant, bigoted Ben White – he simply searches for anything that confirms his pre-conceived ideas, regurgitates bits of articles sourced from here and there, cobbles them together and pours them into the already prepared mould. Well – it’s a way of earning a living, I suppose.

  4. Israelinurse – great article, and excellent “catch” on the “waterstation”.

    You showed again the need to really check everything these liars employed by the Guardian link to in their obsession, which is in inverse proportion to the facts. Over and over, the moment you dig beneath the crude propaganda peddled on CiF you come up with things like this so-called “waterstation”, only too easily seized upon by the willing gullible Israel bashers.

    By the way – the picture shows, in the distance, an “unrecognized village” – a collection of shacks, similar to those one can see scattered all over the Negev. Is Israel supposed to provide all mod cons every time a group of nomads plonks themselves down somewhere in the middle of nowhere, builds some shacks, and starts litigating for all the facilities of a planned settlement?

    Sababa – “Bir Saba” is, of course, Arabic for “Be’er Sheva”, and this is another attempt in the growing effort to simply write Jews out of their own history and the land of Israel (like the reference that the tooth fairy seizes up to call the Negev “al Naqab”) .

    The fact that it is an adaptation of the biblical name, first mentioned in Genesis, and the location named by Abraham, is to be air-brushed out of the Arab consciousness. I would lay a pretty large bet that you could now find Arab school kids in Gaza or the WB who will tell you that “Bir Saba” has always been an Arab town, was illegally occupied by the Zionists, and their formerly wealthy families all had property there.

  5. Excellent research IsraeliNurse and AKUS – and a nice exposure of a practised liar.

    AKUS No need to search for Gaza children to tell you the truth of Bir Saba – Here’s the whole sad tale together with a misquotation from the Universal Declaration of Human rights and some tall stories about the cooperation between the Zionists and the British.

    I recommend a hefty pinch of salt.

  6. I met someone this week who once politely challenged Ben White in person on his views. He said White was totally unable to back up any of his misconceptions and just panicked.

  7. Great piece Israelinurse.

    To have the patience to comb through the vile hateful lies of Benny is admirable.

    I hope you showered after.

  8. zkharya – a) It probably wouldn’t have lasted long there.
    b) My computer has some sort of Freudian mental abberations every time I connect to the CiF site (must be the Intel chips expressing their indignation!).
    c) I reckon that they need to figure out for themselves that there are many people out there who have rather more experience of and knowledge about life in Israel than some of their contributors and readers.

  9. Why post at CiF? Only to have it “moderated” (deleted) or lost in a sea of Guardian racism, aimed solely and squarely at Jews?

    I can’t see the point.

  10. Ilan – I met someone this week who once politely challenged Ben White in person on his views. He said White was totally unable to back up any of his misconceptions and just panicked.

    I’ve heard the same sentiments exactly expressed about ‘Our Sethele’. He backed out of an ‘above the line confrontation’ with Petra a year ago. I never heard what reasons were given.