Arrogating Arrogance

The self-righteous moral indignation meter was shooting off the scale on March 24th when the Guardian had a field day with the subject of the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat. The estimable Robin Shepherd has an excellent post up on his blog about both the editorial and Oliver Miles’ opinion piece on the subject. His conclusion:

“I have tried long and hard to avoid the conclusion that brute anti-Semitism is at the core of the campaign to demonise Israel in Europe, and I still stick to my view that it is an effect of what is going on rather than a cause. But, boy, if ever there were a distinction that is beginning to look difficult to sustain, that is increasingly looking like one of them.”

Robin highlights the use in the editorial of the following sentence. “Both events in London and Washington are the marks of an arrogant nation that has overreached itself.” As he quite rightly points out, it is not the Israeli government which is being criticised here but the nation; all 7 million of us down to the last man, woman and child. Maybe the cats and dogs too, who knows? One cannot but think that such a sweeping and stereotypical statement made about any other nation would have been deemed too bigoted for publication.

Interestingly, someone else was describing Israelis as ‘arrogant’ today too: none other than the Saudis. How much that embellishes the Guardian’s reputation as a liberal publication I will leave for the reader to decide.

Despite all the righteous protestations of the writer of this editorial, neither Miliband nor anyone else has concrete proof two months down the line of Israel’s involvement in the assassination of Mabhouh and “all but accused”, “highly likely” and “compelling reasons to believe that Israel was responsible” amount to nothing more than a fog of blustering insinuation. In the tawdry world of British politics however, proof is apparently an unnecessary luxury. Were there hard evidence to back Miliband’s insinuations, presumably the phantom photocopying Israeli official would be by now facing charges.

When we strip away all the indignant rhetoric, what it boils down to is that an awful lot of people in the Foreign Office, the media and elsewhere have a problem when it comes to Israelis defending themselves. Conventional military operations are inevitably labelled as ‘disproportionate’ and if more clandestine methods are presumed to have been employed the resulting indignation is no less strident. The recent record of the current British government on issues such as the Goldstone report, universal jurisdiction, submission to the BDS campaign being led by fringe elements associated with terror organisations, or engagement with Hizbollah would indicate that there is no issue of importance to Israel which the British government will not sacrifice for the sake of a few marginal seats in the upcoming elections, although such short-sightedness may well come back to haunt the next party in power.

35 replies »

  1. “an awful lot of people .. have a problem when it comes to Israelis defending themselves ”

    This is simply not the case. Israel must be allowed to protect herself from rocket and other attack. The problem comes when hundreds of children and civilians die as the result of stupendous overkill.

    A hundred Palestinians died for every Israeli. The present disaster for Israel is less to do with any settlement or any Hamas official murder.It is that last years war has made people shudder . You will have to change.

  2. Berchmans.

    The Guardian is sinking.

    Georgina has been moved. (Gasp).

    You should be helping them instead of posting your inanities here.

    Be off. Sis.

  3. Berchmans – It is you who will have to change. These puerile comments straight out of the ‘Child of the Flower Power Generation’ handbook are nothing more than empty slogans. You admit that Israel must be allowed to defend itself – very big of you – but of course your own somewhat limited personal experience of being on the receiving end of missiles or suicide bombs prevents you from grasping that this is a war we are dealing with, not a Saturday night brawl in Glasgow city centre.
    War is ugly, brutal and very scary. People get killed, intentionally or not. It is not possible to conduct a ‘clean’ war, though heaven knows that Israel does its best, often at the expense of the lives of our own soldiers – e.g. Jenin.
    If, as you say, a hundred Palestinians are killed for every Israeli, it has much to do with the fact that their leaders do not provide them with the appropriate defences. During the 2006 Lebanon war when rockets were raining down on my area I did not allow my children to wander around outside – they were holed up in shelters for weeks on end. If all those children in Gaza had been equally protected, many of them would still be alive today.
    How telling it is though that you and others of your ilk are apparently unable to ascribe any responsibility whatsoever to the ruling factions in Gaza for the dreadful fate of those children, either for failing to provide them with adequate protection or for instigating a situation in which a military response was inevitable by attacking a sovereign country non-stop for eight years.
    Your typical post-colonial guilt-ridden racism of low expectations is most definitely on display.

  4. ‘ The problem comes when hundreds of children and civilians die as the result of stupendous overkill…A hundred Palestinians died for every Israeli.’

    Unlike in the actions of NATO, the US, Russia, Sri Lanka etc.

    The odd thing, this thread is about responses to a hit against the palpably guilty, with no ‘collateral damage’ whatsoever. And Berchmans still isn’t happy.

    I can’t adduce a Scotsman for now, but I recall (his Anti-Semitism aside) Bernard Shaw’s Sergius:

    SERGIUS. I am no longer a soldier. Soldiering, my dear madam, is
    the coward’s art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong,
    and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak. That is the
    whole secret of successful fighting. Get your enemy at a
    disadvantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal
    terms. Eh, Major!

    And Bluntschli’s reply to his challenge:

    SERGIUS. You have deceived me. You are my rival. I brook no
    rivals. At six o’clock I shall be in the drilling-ground on the
    Klissoura road, alone, on horseback, with my sabre. Do you

    BLUNTSCHLI (staring, but sitting quite at his ease). Oh, thank
    you: that’s a cavalry man’s proposal. I’m in the artillery; and
    I have the choice of weapons. If I go, I shall take a machine
    gun. And there shall be no mistake about the cartridges this

    Israel’s mistake in 2006 was to try to fight Hezbollah on its own terms, accounting for the relatively high Israeli casualties.

  5. Israeli nurse
    The more you write, the better you get. Well done and chag sameach.

    Berchmans. why are you persisting? You are in no position to tell anyone how to live their lives when you simply come out with the tired old slogans that were nonsense when you first learned them, never mind years later.

    Your posts are those of the dilettante – someone who dabbles in a subject, whereas many on here are personally connected to the situation of Israel and the Palestinian territories. Surely there are some real issues in Scotland that better deserve your time and interest, but then you’d have to take it seriously, instead of typing out your nonsense without responsibility.

  6. Israeli nurse . I note your polite post and hope you and yours keep safe.




    “You are in no position to tell anyone how to live their lives ”

    I beg your pardon I see what you mean. I wrote “You will have to change.” This was not advice.. this was a prediction. The entire world is now saying it.

    CIFWatch has had a sort of success in that there are fewer Israeli articles on CIF than is warranted by the recent calamity for some …when we all found out what a pillock Netanyahu was( some of us had previously wondered)

    I will go to Haaretz and see what they say happened in Washington.

  7. Berchman: “The entire world is now saying it.”

    The entire world has been telling us to drop dead and die since the babylonians conquest of Israel.

    I’d like to remind you what the “world” said after 1982 massacre (which unlike Jenin or anywhere in Gaza was actualy a massacre):

    “On December 16, 1982, the United Nations General Assembly condemned the massacre and declared it to be an act of genocide[28]. The voting record[29][30][31] on section D of Resolution 37/123, which “resolves that the massacre was an act of genocide”, was: yes: 123; no: 0; abstentions: 22…”

    “…The commission toured the area of fighting and examined witnesses in Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Syria, UK, and Norway. The government of Israel refused to cooperate. The commission’s report, Israel in Lebanon, concluded that:

    The government of Israel has committed acts of aggression contrary to international law.
    The Israeli armed forces have made use of weapons or methods of warfare forbidden in international law, including the laws of war.
    Israel has subjected prisoners to treatment forbidden by international law, including inhuman and degrading treatment. In addition, there has been a violation of international law arising out of a denial of prisoner-of-war status to Palestinian prisoners or detainees.
    There has been deliberate or indiscriminate or reckless bombardment of a civilian character, of hospitals, schools, and other nonmilitary targets.
    There has been systematic bombardment and other destruction of towns, cities, villages, and refugee camps.
    The acts of the Israeli armed forces have caused the dispersal, deportation and ill-treatment of populations, in violation of international law. ”

    The government of Israel has no valid reasons under international law for its invasion of the Lebanon, for the manner in which it conducted hostilities or for its actions as an occupying force.
    The Israeli authorities or forces were involved directly or indirectly in the massacres and other killings that have been reported to have been carried out by Lebanese militiamen in the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila in the Beirut area between 16 and 18 September.”

    A tenth of the population of Israel went marching to Tel Aviv demanding a clear investigation in protest of their government ill decisions during that September.

    But no commission was sent to investigate the numerous massacres carried out 8 years prior.
    The equivilent amount of Palestinians were massacred in Al-Zaatar camp in 1976.
    After an agreed cease fire Arafat decided to order firing on the Christian militias coming to evacuate the surrenered civilians.

    Not surprisingly:

    “When Arafat needed martyrs in 1976, he called for a truce around the besieged refugee camp of Tel el-Zaatar, then ordered his commanders in the camp to fire at their right-wing Lebanese Christian enemies. When, as a result, the Phalangists and “Tigers” militia slaughtered their way into Tel el-Zaatar, Arafat opened a “martyrs’ village” for camp widows in the sacked Christian village of Damour. On his first visit, the widows pelted him with stones and rotten fruit. Journalists were ordered away at gunpoint.”

    In an L.A. Weekly interview published May 30, 2002, Fisk recalls “Arafat is a very immoral person, or maybe very amoral. A very cynical man. I remember when the Tal-al-Zaatar refugee camp in Beirut had to surrender to Christian forces in the very brutal Lebanese civil war. They were given permission to surrender with a cease-fire. But at the last moment, Arafat told his men to open fire on the Christian forces who were coming to accept the surrender. I think Arafat wanted more Palestinian “martyrs” in order to publicize the Palestinian position in the war. That was in 1976. Believe me that Arafat is not a changed man.”

    One more thing about Sabra and Shatila (but you already knew that I suppose?), the commander which carried out the massacre was non other than Elie Hobeika which lost his family relatives to a similar attack 8 years before by the PLO in the massacre of Damour.

    But here is something which explains a lot:

    “Elie Hobeika, the Phalangist commander at the time of the massacre, was assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut on January 24, 2002. Lebanese and Arab commentators blamed Israel for the murder on Hobeika, with alleged Israeli motive that Hobeika would be ‘apparently poised to testify before the Belgian court about Sharon’s role in the massacre’[46] (see section above). The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on the other hand suggests that rather Syria “might have been concerned where Hobeika’s testimony could lead”

    Now considering the numerous car bomb attacks in Lebanon and syria after the Israeli withdrawl in 2000, and considering the double sword game Syria played while negotiating the “truce” in 1976 while backing up the Christians and later the PLO in most of these massacres I know who I believe.
    The question is do you?

  8. ItsikDeWembley

    “The entire world has been telling us to drop dead and die since the babylonians conquest of Israel.”

    I am not gloating about the rift with the US …I was.. but Im a grown up didnt last long.

    I genuinely didnt get it…why is America risking the alienation of it s Jewish vote to hassle Israel but Haaretz seems spot on.

    The Haaretz

    “I’d like to remind you that the “Defense Secretary Robert Gates has decisively supported General David Petraeus, the first American military man in years to describe Israel as a strategic burden on the U.S. Gates said America’s rivals in the Middle East are abusing the standstill of the political process between Israel and the Arabs. He stressed that he had no doubt a lack of peace in the region was influencing American interests there.

    Netanyahu had been hoping to buy time until November’s Congressional elections, which coincide with the deadline he set for the settlement freeze. But with America’s strategic interest on the line, Bibi’s favorite political game (playing the Jewish community and Congress against the White House and the State Department) isn’t working anymore. Obama decided his moderate Middle East coalition is more important than Netanyahu. ”

    The rules are changing.

  9. Itkis is correct. Hobeika’s bodyguard Hatem has published a book alleging Hobeika deliberately ordered the S-C massacre at the instigation of Damascus, for which Hobeika was a double agent.

    Berk, are you lonely?

  10. Abandon hope ” Hamas official murder”

    He was a terrorist with blood on his hands. Don’t diss us like that. How dare you!!!

  11. Happy Passover to all my Jewish brothers and sisters along with our friends of any denomination. Hag Sameyah le kulyam. Buona Pasqua a tutti.

    Am Yisrael Chai ve Kayam.

  12. The whole point is, British Jewry in it’s muted action goads the willingness of the British government to stab Israel in the back. The Foreign office comes out with the immortal lines ‘It was highly likely the forgeries were made by a state intelligence agency”.
    Dont most good intelligence agencies use fake/stolen passports these days!!!!!!
    As was reported in the Jerusalem Post this was ‘A contrived act on behalf of the British to use Israel as a smokescreen for it’s own problems,whilst British Jewry leadership was happy to let the disgraceful univeral juristiction fiasco get sorted behind behind closed doors,this expulsion is a step too far’. It is grounded in discrimination and bias, the UK would not take this measure against any other state.
    Remember the senior foreign office diplomat and ‘expert’ on the Middle East, Rowan Laxton, who, in a laurance of Arabia moment was overheard saying ‘F*****g Israeli’s, F*****g Jews’, wasnt he responsible for UK diplomacy. And lets not forget the immortal words of the honorable James Baker,Secretary of State, United States of America, 1992 ‘F**k The Jews, they wont vote for us anyway

  13. And abandon hope. it is YOU who ‘attempts to orchestrates public opinion’ by writing inflamotary comments like ‘el Mahbour Rip’..
    What is it you are really about?

  14. smtx01

    “@abandon hope answer the accusation you made aginst me on the Israeli diplomat expelled thread.”

    I am sorry.. I cannot find the Huntley thread on CIF to find out who it was .I had thought you had made a comment congratulating the attacker. This was a mistake. I apologise.

    Toko LeMoko

    “Berk, are you lonely?”

    Look I am spoken for…shouted for actually! 🙂 Im intrigued but I must say “no”.

  15. There really isn’t any surprise that Obamele is barking up this tree, there is no change of direction going on here. Before the election, during the campaign it was stated repeatedly that he comes from a line of thinking that runs counter to Israel’s interests to put it mildly.

    The rap on the knuckles he’s giving Bibi make for good press, feeds his ego and is just another in a long line of gaffes in turning his back on friendly nations as a result of being unable to move any of the numerous opposition countries.

    He probably isn’t even aware that there is a constituency in Israel that actually wants to cut ties with the US.

    People forget that Israel was born to the dismay of the US, who did not support the creation of the county, neither did England.

    Marshall resigned over the discussions, Truman hemmed and hawed and waited for other countries to recognize Israel before finally jumping on board.

    Both the US and UK had a weapons embargo on the nascent state of Israel and would have been very happy to see the surrounding Arab countries succeed when they attacked in ’48.

    So what’s new?
    The only thing new is that for a few brief periods in time there were a few US Presidents who favoured Israel, interestingly enough, they were not Democrats and they didn’t get much of the Jewish vote.

    China, India will be the future.

  16. Britain is a hotbed of anti-Semitism,where anti-Semitism is tolerated and at times encouraged. The Guardian happens to be at the spear head of this campaign for the delegitimization of Israel.

    Where are the British Jewish leaders,to counter these British racist attitudes that are being aimed at Israel.

  17. Was there any outrage from the British Jews at the way that Netanyahu was treated by Obama at the White House.

    Obama shakes hands with that Venezuelian dictator Chaves,bows to the Suadi King,and the Japanese emperor.

    Yet humiliates Netanyahu by dumping him for dinner.There was more outrage from non Jews for Obama’s despicable behavior towards Netanyahu,than there was from the Jews.

    Jewish overreaching and arrogance was no where to be heard or seen.

  18. There was more outrage from non Jews for Obama’s despicable behavior towards Netanyahu,than there was from the Jews.

    Indeed. In the USA, centre-right Christians often seem a stronger core of support for Israel, than centre-left Jews.

    Including Obama’s lieutenants Axelrod and Emmanuel. Obama has already said he wouldn’t hesitate to have them screw Israel – and they’d obey.

  19. Obama shakes hands with that Venezuelian dictator Chaves … Yet humiliates Netanyahu

    An eerie echo of Leah Rabin, who would shake hands with Arafat but not Netanyahu.

  20. peter1
    Great post 2.13

    You cannot judge British Jews by US standards. We may speak a similar language, but we are not the same people. English Jews, like most people in the UK, are restrained and not given to particularly loud expression of feelings or emotions. Those that are, go into show business.

    I think, (and hope), that much more is achieved quietly and discretely by gentlemen having meetings and lunches and conversations in their clubs, then by standing up noisily in public, and shouting the odds.

    Having said that, I, along with some others go along to pro Palestinian gigs with the intention of disrupting their hatefests and spreading a little dissension. It doesn’t always work and some of us get ejected by the police, but the bastards don’t have it all their own way.

  21. CityCa, you are correct – but that doesnt prevent a good segment of British and Continental Jews from looking at their “representative” institutions as Boards of Dhimmis.

  22. AB


    ” humiliates Netanyahu by dumping him for dinner.”


    Obama 2 weeks ago..the vote for his healthcare still not clear…the weakest moment in his presidency.. sends his vice president to try to sort the road map and Netanyahu pokes him in the eye. Obama will be furious. You expect him to welcome the guy ??? Now thats what I call optimistic.

  23. cityca

    AB – ‘You cannot judge British Jews by US standards. We may speak a similar language, but we are not the same people. English Jews, like most people in the UK, are restrained and not given to particularly loud expression of feelings or emotions. Those that are, go into show business.’

    Or writing for The Guardian.

  24. March 26, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Abandon hope,

    In the months before Israel attacked Gaza, Hamas and company had been steadily increasing the frequency of the rocket attacks on Israeli civilians within the pre-1967 boundaries, and had begun using sophisticated longer range missiles smuggled in from Iran. One of these missiles killed 6 building workers in Ashkelon, a city 40km from Gaza. This was not one of the “home made” Kassam rockets, a fact which the BBC, the Guardian and other left wing propaganda outfits so love to emphasize, and it was not made in someone’s garage. By the time Israel attacked, the terrorists had stepped up the rocket firing to close to a hundred a day. In other words, they had begun waging a low-scale war against Israel, backed by Iran.

    For years prior to this Israel had concentrated on taking out the Kassam crews and storage and manufacturing sites – with a degree of success but without stopping the attacks. The result was that Israel had no option but to attack Hamas itself and not limit the response to those actually firing the rockets. Hamas then chose the strategy of hiding behind its own civilians while continuing to fire rockets at Israeli civilians rather than engage the advancing IDF. That is a war crime and the blame for the civilians Israel killed must be laid at the door of Hamas.

    The pack baying for Israel to be charged with “war crimes” over Gaza is the same pack that bayed for the same thing in Lebanon in 2006, after Hezbollah initiated that war. Unable to defeat Israel on the battlefield, the Arabs and their fellow-travellers strive to defeat her by any other means. And yes, the PR departments for Arab terror against Israel in the Guardian, the BBC, the “Independent” and other media as well as politicians of all persuasions, along with vast numbers of the brainwashed public, certainly do have a problem with Israel defending herself. If not, they would direct their outrage against the Arabs, the Iranians and the broader Muslim world for their genocidal intentions towards the Jewish state. But even at the height of the “Second Intifada,” during which Palestinian terrorists murdered well over a thousand Israelis, seventy percent of them civilians, they were silent. And their silence speaks volumes.

  25. TrueToo. Thank you for your above comment. The fact is Berchmans knows all this but what is important to him is that the US and Israel suffer for the destruction of the sublime USSR.

  26. Berchmans’s agenda is chaos for the West, and supremacy for those very gentle Hamas who were so proud to announce that they trapped the IDF in an ambush deliberately yesterday.

    Seeing that they’re not Jooooooooos but Moslems and Hamas terrorists B doesn’t see them as violent or brutal, oh no! their killings are gentle and loving.

  27. March 27, 2010 at 7:03 am



    Well, it will never happen. Maybe that’s why he calls himself “Abandon Hope.”

  28. I feel sure that it is but it says a lot about himself which he has difficulty accepting.

    He must be a very sad person to be afflicted with such feelings which make him unacceptable outside the Guardian faithful and not all of them seem too happy with him.

    When he does venture outside I/P threads he gets a mouthfull, (well, clickfull), from those extreme lefties who are not obsessed with Jews and Palestine.

  29. TrueToo

    Whilst I recognise your 12:16 am as considered and moderate I would take issue with

    “This was not one of the “home made” Kassam rockets, a fact which the BBC, the Guardian and other left wing propaganda outfits so love to emphasize”

    The ” home made” nature of the murderous and counter productive rockets is a stupid own goal . It must be feckin awful for children to have such an unpredictable, frightening and maddening threat despite the primitive nature…it is the intention not the potential for gross carnage that is unacceptable.

    ” their genocidal intentions towards the Jewish state. ”

    This I find unhelpful . Whilst I accept the Israel of the future will be a mainly Jewish state.. I feel that any discussion becomes fraught with difficulty. You are making it sound as if the Jewishness is the issue rather than the fact that a military giant has got a toe hold on the Muslim world and it aint letting go.


    “Seeing that they’re not Jooooooooos ”

    This is a site for monitoring anti Semitism.You would think someone would have noticed this! 🙂

    PS Only pro Israelis used to use this term on CIF .This is now instantly deleted on CIF it should be.


    “He must be a very sad person to be afflicted with such feelings which make him unacceptable outside the Guardian ”

    I have said before that whilst CIFWatch can claim some success… it is of limited value.

    Today on CIF there are 2 articles about haggadah ..but nothing at all about the killings yesterday. Nothing about Washington and what the f*** happened between Bibi and Obama.

    These are interesting and crucial events. CIFwatch 1 CIF 0…but the real loser …the readers.

  30. March 27, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Abandon hope.

    I’m not sure of your point re the “own goal.” The Islamic terror-supporting lefty media obviously emphasises “home made” to portray the rockets as ineffective, firecracker type, almost harmless little things against the might of the IDF. I noticed that they started to drop the term when Hamas started to fire the longer range missiles but then, because of their lack of integrity and journalistic ethics, did not label those missiles as they should be labeled. As long as they have the lefty media to back them and disguise their true nature, Islamic terrorists don’t have to worry about own goals.

    What you quite rightly identify as murderous intent on the part of Hamas and company is a reaction, first and foremost, to the Jewishness of the state of Israel. Miss that point, and you’ll fail to understand the Israeli-Arab conflict