General UK Media

The Drip, Drip, Drip of Criticism and Hatred


This is a cross post by Mark Gardner of CST Blog

In recent days, I have seen seven ostensibly different news stories and events that show the drip, drip, drip of criticism and hatred of Jews, Zionism and Israel.

Depressingly, there is nothing special whatsoever about these last few days. There have been no flood alerts, just the usual drip, drip drip of stories that you find in the Guardian, the Independent and any number of political websites. Nor is there anything special about the events, just more of the same drip, drip, drip of lobbying that you would find every month of the year.

Is the drip antisemitic? Is it anti-Zionist? Or is it anti-Israel? Is it fair criticism? Is it unfair criticism? Is it hateful? Is the hatred deserved?

Whatever the rights or wrongs of each solitary drip, together they leave us wading through a pool of anger, hatred, contempt, call it what you will.

It is up to you whether you feel the pool is ankle deep, waist high or reaching your nostrils. One thing is for sure, the waterline is still rising.

The last few days’ drips – more accurately, some of those that I’ve noticed – are as follows:

The opening paragraph of an article in the Guardian (5 July 2010) by its Washington columnist, Chris McGreal:

There are questions that rarely get asked in Washington. For years, the mantra that America’s intimate alliance with Israel was as good for the US as it was the Jewish state went largely unchallenged by politicians aware of the cost of anything but unwavering support.

The closing paragraph of a book review in the Guardian (3 July 2010) by one of its literary critics, Nicholas Lezard:

Well, I know what’s going to happen now. I and the blameless Review section of this newspaper will be denounced as either Hamas stooges, antisemites, or both. It would appear that unimpeachably impartial reporting from this miserable part of the world is a categorical impossibility. (I’ve seen pro-Israel websites which maintain that the residents of Gaza actually have it pretty peachy.) But whichever way you lean, this is a very important book indeed.

The obituary in the Independent (6 July 2010) of Abu Daoud, subtitled “Palestinian terrorist who masterminded the 1972 Olympic massacre”. Written by respected journalist, Adel Darwish, it includes this:

By 4:45am they had taken nine Israeli athletes hostage in their quarters after killing two who, they said, were armed secret agents (they were a weightlifter and a wrestling coach in the Israeli official version.)

The report in the Independent (6 July 2010) by Robert Fisk on his visit to Ketermaya in South Lebanon. Fisk’s report concentrates on the villagers’ lynching of an Egyptian murder suspect two months ago, but he reflects in passing:

The story in Ketermaya, a mixed Druze-Sunni village, is that way back in 1975, a Jewish couple who lived here – there was a tiny Jewish community in Lebanon at the time – were driven from their homes and that their son, an Israeli pilot, bombed the village in revenge during the Israeli invasion of 1982

By extraordinary chance, I was sitting on the hillside above Ketermaya in 1982 and saw the lone plane attack, repeatedly bombing the village on the morning of 7th June. There were no Palestinian fighters there – just civilians, of whom at least 50 were hiding in their homes – and they were all in their graves within 24 hours.

The reported words (2 July 2010) of Glasgow City Councillor Colin Deans, chairman of the Scrutiny Commission:

Build ever higher walls and appropriate ever more land and one day the Holocaust card will buy no more friendship or support. Then where will Israel be?

The hosting on 14 July 2010 at the Quakers’ Friends House, Euston, London of a symposium of 9/11 conspiracy theorists that will feature:

four of the most outspoken and eloquent challengers to the Zio-American imperial order that has emerged post-September 11th.

The hosting on 18 July 2010 by the same Quakers’ Friends House, Euston, London of a worldwide conference of the Hizb ut Tahrir group that only last month stated:

O Muslim Armies! Teach the Jews a lesson after which they will need no further lessons

March forth to fight them, eradicate their entity and purify the earth of their filth

Where to begin with all of this?

Is McGreal right, does anything short of unwavering support for Israel carry the kind of cost that he implies? If so, who or what is the power that lies behind such enforcement? Are they Jews? Are they Zionists? Are they Israelis? Is it a conspiracy, or is it just how those things have ended up? What are Guardian readers to make of such hidden power?

What about Lezard? He makes some criticisms of Israel in a review of a book that is critical of Israeli policy. For this, he and his colleagues will be set upon as backers of terrorism and antisemitism. What are Guardian readers to make of these slanderers? These Jews? – or perhaps they are Zionists? – or perhaps they are something else?

What about those armed Israeli secret agents, whom the “Palestinian terrorist’s” henchmen had to…err…kill in self-defence? What are Independent readers to make of a nation so cunning that it would disguise its secret agents as Olympic athletes? Masters of planning and disguise, eh.

Then again, what about those Jews who have the bloodlust of revenge: the bloodlust that would cause them (in their new Israeli identity) to disobey their squadron commander’s orders and veer off to kill 50 villagers in a one man revenge attack. What are Independent readers to make of such Jews and such Israelis?

And how about the playing of “the Holocaust card?” When will those who play that card realise that its fast running out? When will they realise that relations between Jews and non-Jews will return to pre-Holocaust standards unless Israel, the Jewish state, does what its enemies demand of it? The good citizens of Glasgow can now thank their Scrutiny Commissioner for slipping them off the Holocaust hook.

And what about Quakers’ Friends House, Euston, London? Where is the friendship in allowing these events to take place? The first will proclaim “Zio-American imperial order” responsibility for 9-11 and the subsequent “War on Terror”. And who are we to giggle and point fingers at their lunacy? Given what you can read in the Guardian and Independent about unspecified power; fake terrorist accusations; masters of disguise; and bloodthirsty avengers, why exactly wouldn’t the “Zio-American imperial order” be behind such events?

And as for Quakers hosting Hizb ut Tahrir who want Muslims to “March forth to fight them, eradicate their entity and purify the earth of their filth”, well, given what we’ve read above, hand on heart, who can really blame them? Wouldn’t they be doing the earth a favour?

And what’s that, “eradicate…purify…filth”…Holocaust you say. Oh shut up, we knew you’d call it antisemitic and we knew you’d end up playing that bloody Holocaust card.

Categories: General UK Media

36 replies »

  1. has fisk’s story ever been corroborated?

    as far as i know, israeli pilots identities are kept secret until after they complete their service….they all go by code names

  2. Walt,

    The only shocking bit is the one you mentioned.
    The point about the identity of the pilot is not important as Fisk note that it is a “story” and not a fact.

    What is a “fact” acording to Fisk is that a lone fighter jet (supposadly Israeli) attacked the village repeatadly and that there were no Palestinian fighters there.

    What Fisk doesn’t say is:
    Did he identify the plane as a MIG or a Kfir? syrian MIGs were bombing Lebanon areas as well.
    Actualy they devastated Tyre and Beirut.
    How did he come about that there were not Palestinian fighters?
    Were there any other fighters?
    Were there any fighters which oppose the Syrians?

    Fisk was throwing a half baked story and it is very dangerous to do so.
    Does he care?

  3. I am afraid that my opinion of the Quakers is very low. They are so eager to see good in everybody that they really do believe that it is raining when someone is peeing on their legs.

  4. You’ve probably all heard it before, but as to the “facts” behind Fisk and the MSM’s stories:

    A guy is walking around Paris. Suddenly he sees a Rotweiller attacking a little girl. He jumps on the dog and strangles the dog.

    A reporter interviews him.

    Reporter: Tell us your name. Tomorrow’s headline will be “Parisian hero rescues girl from dog”.

    Guy: But I’m not a Parisian.

    Reporter: OK. How about “French hero rescues girl from dog”?

    Guy: But I’m not French.

    Reporter: So where are you from?

    Guy: Israel.

    Reporter: Hmmm… I will have to decide… “Israeli kills little girl’s dog” or “Another case of disproportoniate Israeli response”…

  5. Mark, this is a very good article.

    What do you suggest be done? The Islamist devil and its supporters do seem to have all the best tunes, or at least the tunes that people are listening to because they make their presence felt.

    I do not undervalue or underestimate the role of the CST, far from it, but what about the Board of Deputies? Why is there deafening silence from them or, if they are speaking out, why are they whispering? Why aren’t the representatives of Jews out there and high profiled and fighting against these calumnies?

    We need to make ourselves heard in this and be as aggressive verbally as the pro-Hamas anti-Israel louts. Why do you think that this is not happening?

  6. What SarahLeah said.

    What ARE the organisations which represent Jews in Britain (other than the CST) actually doing, Mark?

    Can you point me to instances, other than the highly appropriate (and somewhat surprising given his deafening silence hitherto) recent rejoinder by the Chief Rabbi to the Methodists, that Jewish organisations are actually vocal and public and high profile in attempts to undermine these lies?

  7. Another drip I heard only yesterday, so it isn’t online any longer:

    Friday Night Comedy Show from June 4, 2010

    at around 9:00 found it funny to remark that the Israelis were … for wanting to search a ship which had been searched by the Turks already and mind you the joke doesn’t go on to make fun of the Turks for missing their Jihadistas.

  8. Not really off-topic:

    Mark, I have begun Melanie Phillips’ book, “The World Turned Upside Down” in which she discusses the inversion of truth and reality which makes possible the sort of mindless hatred you describe above and which, because it feeds on itself and is deliberately fed and manipulated by others, takes on a spurious and malignant “reality” of its own.

    It’s been said here before, but what concerns me the most is the total abrogation of curiosity and critical thinking as regards Israel, Jews and the Middle East. These people are carried away by their own hate-filled rhetoric and fail to question what they are told.

  9. The way to tackle the drip drip drip of criticisim and hatred is to stop trying to reach out to people who simply will not listen to reason, and instead concentrate on reaching out to people in the centre. Israel needs to find it’s voice and start articulating it, they need intelligent commentators who are able to explain background,history and context to those in the middle,to those people who actually have open minds,and are prepared to use them objectively. It is not only up to Jewish groups in the diaspora to state Israel’s case, Israel,itself needs to become more involved.There are far more people in the middle than there are on the extremes on both sides.

  10. four of the most outspoken and eloquent challengers to the Zio-American imperial order that has emerged post-September 11th

    Was that the actual wording on the flyer? Pathetic.

  11. Mark, when little children’s reality is consistently messed with (ie their caregivers or others insist that what they are experiencing isn’t really the case or they otherwise minimise it) there is a real risk that such children grow up very disturbed indeed. Being little and powerless, such children are in no position to act against the distortion of what they KNOW to be true; at some level they believe their powerful adult carers to be wrong but nevertheless they have to accept it. If this state of affairs is allowed to continue such children grow up unable to know how they really feel and are more often than not overly inclined to take notice of what others say and do rather than what they actually want to do.

    I see Jewish people here and in Israel being hammered into this position. They are constantly being placed in an invalidating environment in the UK and the rest of Europe, and their “parent” equivalents in the UK at least – the BoD and other official organisations – cannot be relied upon to support them and, where this does happen, that support is patchy. Little wonder then that the less psychologically and emotionally robust take the course of least resistance and think that they can achieve psychological comfort by aligning themselves with Israel’s critics, even when that criticism shades into Jew-hatred.

    We need to go on a publicity offensive for the hearts and minds of Joe and Jane Public all over the world. Many of them are far too busy trying to earn a living and look after their families to give much more thought to the Middle East than the lies routinely fed to them by our unscrupulous media.

    A good slogan would be TELL THEM THE TRUTH

  12. Fisking Fisk is almost a sacred duty …

    How does a “lone plane” “repeatedly bomb” something? Does it never run out of bombs like six-shooters in Western movies??

    Who were the “lone Jewish couple”?

    Who was their son?

    How does Fisk know he was a pilot?

    How does Fisk know he was the pilot in that plane?

    Was there a plane?

    But, as you say – … the truth doesn’t matter … drip … drip.. drip.

  13. AKUS
    “Does it never run out of bombs like six-shooters in Western movies??”

    I’d guess that in Fisk’s world they get stocked up during mission just like they do with fuels – no, I am not trying to be funny, once you have entered Fisk’s world that is a very likely scenario

  14. Since I had never heard of Ketermeya, I googled them.

    And, guess what I found:

    Ketermaya murders shock Lebanon

    http://www.yalibnan.com/2010/04/30/ketermaya-murders-shock-lebanon/

    The reaction to yesterday murder of the 2 elderly grandparents and their 2 grand children was that of shock and outrage, but the killing of the murderer by the angry residents was condemned by Lebanese officials.

    It took me a moment to figure that one out from the very confusing report. If reconstructed it here from the new report:

    What happened was that (using extracts from the report:

    Mohammed Salim Mosallam, a 38-year-old Egyptian who worked as a butcher in Ketermaya, was thought by the lovely residents of that peaceful, multicultural village to have shot to death Youssef Abu Merhi, 75, and his wife Kawthar, 70, along with their grand children Zeina, 7, and Amneh, 9.

    The Ketermaya residents reacted to the murder by slaughtering Mosallam and parading his body through town in retaliation.

    Local media said dozens of residents intercepted a police jeep carrying Mosallam to the reenactment site, dragged the killer out and attacked him with sticks and knives.

    But the locals chased the killer to Siblin hospital, dragged him out and beat him with sticks to death. After the killing, the crowd stripped Mosallem down to his underpants and dragged his body through Ketermaya.

    There, the residents tied a metal wire around his neck and hung him from an electric pole.

    His body hung from the pole for about 10 minutes before Lebanese army troops took him down and drove him away in a jeep, an AP photographer at the scene said.

    Lovely people.

    Just the sort Fisk admires.

  15. If you can stomach it, you can watch Robert Fisk’s friends lynch that Egyptian in Ketermaya:

    But in his report of this lynching, how does he try to mimimize the horror inflicted by the “gentle people of Ketermaya”?, – a possible bombing that noone but he can corroborate that he claims happened 28 years ago ….

  16. Well, not all is lost.

    Brian Whittaker has what I suppose one could call a living obituary to Octavia Nasr, CNN’s senior editor of Middle East affairs:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/08/the-trouble-with-twitter

    In the midst of all this, Octavia Nasr, CNN’s senior editor of Middle East affairs, posted a brief comment on Twitter. It said:

    “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah … One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”

    Had she said: “Good riddance to Fadlallah … the world is better off without him,” I can’t imagine there would have been any fuss. But, as it was, her tweet soon had pro-Israel activists up in arms and calling for her to be sacked. Last night, CNN duly obliged, saying that her credibility had been “compromised”.

    Fadlallah, as the BBC delicately puts it, left behind a mixed legacy: “For many in the west, [his] name was irrevocably linked with acts of violence against the American presence in Lebanon in the early 1980s.” At the same time, though, in many other areas his views were remarkably enlightened (at least by the standards of Shia ayatollahs). Lebanon’s Sunni prime minister, Saad Hariri, called him “a voice of moderation”.

    Ah, yes …”mixed legacy” … “Hizbollah giant” … “voice of moderation”

    But at least CNN has the sense to see that she was sacked, even if it allowed Whittaker to pay her a last tribute – and blame twitter.

    Its so strange how someone else is always to blame for the actions of extremist Moslems. In this case, a computer program.

  17. “..Its so strange how someone else is always to blame for the actions of extremist Moslems. In this case, a computer program.”

    Yes, AKUS, and this is also the case for those who overidentify with them isn’t it?

    Perhaps that is where we begin – by shouting whenever that happens and insist that the blame be placed where it belongs.

  18. AKUS:

    “…even if it allowed Whittaker to pay her a last tribute – and blame twitter.”

    I think you’ll find he blamed the pro israel “activists”.

    So before you know it our interest in seeking the truth and acusing people who side with terrorists of doing just that will place us in the same boat as the flottila “activists”.

  19. ItsikDeWembley

    No – not the British Council!

    The British Ambassador to the Lebanon, Frances Guy – one-time head of the FCO’s Engaging with the Islamic World Unit. Its other inhabitant, of course, the recently OBEd Mockbul Ali, now head of a counter-terrorism section.

    Further comment would be superfluous.

  20. Derek Pasquill, I hate to say this but it seems to me that the lunatics really are running the asylum which is the UK government.

    Mockbul Ali with an OBE??????!!!

    He who called the reprehensible Yusuf Qaradawi a moderate??????!!!!

    Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!!!

  21. The Frances Guy Gaffe is making headlines round the world to equal the CNN Howler, even the Jewish Chronicle has a splash on this story and there is a Facebook page – Bring our Woman in Beirut Back Home.

    Ok, I made the last one up, though there must be consternation at King Charles Street with officials wondering how to pitch their advice to their ConLib masters – Liberals – she’s doing a grand job, leave her there and Conservatives raising a quizzical eyebrow or two.

  22. The opening paragraph of an article in the Guardian (5 July 2010) by its Washington columnist, Chris McGreal:

    Yes. I’m sure that one of the most dramatic but concealed outcomes of the Marmara affair is that Israel, as a (reliable) strategic partner of civilization in the Middle East, has jumped a few notches.

    May even explain in part The Obama’s about turn in relation to Netanyahoo.

  23. HairShirt

    if you want to know more of the “truth” about Qaradawi read this review of Paul Berman’s book – believe me it is worth it and just a wee bit out of place at Campus Watch. Just one point – pretty much at the beginning it says narrow selection of sources read in translation – in other reviews I have been told that Berman read even earliest Ramadan pieces which are not available in English … Hony soit …

    http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/9748

  24. What is amazing to me is that the British press has been largely silent about the Brighton activists who were aquited of doing hundreds of thousands of damage to a factory simply because they claimed they were doing it to hurt Israel. Throwing out the rule of law because of Israel hatred apparantly is not a big story in the UK. A search of google news UK shows only a few news stories about them being “exonerated.”

  25. A recent blog article in the Jewish Chronicle, Dave, quotes Judge Bathchair as saying that the jury might think these vandals deserve the George Medal. That cheapens the award of it to those who really deserved it, to my mind, just as the award of an OBE is cheapened forever because an Islamist supporter was awarded one at the request of this lunatic government so as not to exclude Islamists from our society….

    Ugh!!

  26. Mark, this article makes some fair points, as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough.

    I am afraid that I perceive it to be more self-pitying than anything else.

    We know that the hatred of Israel is growing because of lies told about her in the press

    We know that Jewish people in the UK are feeling increasingly unsafe, in spite of the good offices of the CST

    My question of you and of the other bodies which represent Jews and Zionists is, as HairShirt and others have said above, what are your ideas as to what can actually be DONE about this? You are preaching to the choir here. We need to think about what we ourselves can bring to bear to stem this.

  27. Mitnaged, far be it from me to teach grandad how to suck eggs, but I think that you let the Theobald Jews like Anthony Lerman, Jacqueline Rose and others off the hook too lightly when you imply, as I think you do, that lack of psychological robustness alone turns them towards selling out their people.

    No, I think that they saw an easy route to gaining acclaim from their unreconstituted peers. Bashing Israel is de rigeur and these were and still are nobodies who wanted to be noticed.

    In spite of their insistence that they are criticising Israel they care not one wit that they are opening the door to Jew-hatred and, in the case of Lerman who blames Israel for that Jew-hatred are either actively promoting it or don’t care that their criticism may be misconstrued.

    Lack of moral compass or spine is what leads to such behaviour.

  28. Derek,

    “No – not the British Council!

    The British Ambassador to the Lebanon, Frances Guy”

    Apologies. I have to admit I was reading it in Hebrew and did not double check or got the translation wrong.
    Thank you for correcting me.

  29. Thanks Itsik.

    The British Council were probably too grief-stricken to put pen to paper – only the British Ambassador had the presence of mind to control her emotions sufficiently, etc.

  30. Derek,

    Just went to the pub for a pub Friday lunch with 2 english non Jewish friends.

    They were taking the mickey of me by saying that Israelis are going to stone a woman to death, refering to the following case:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/10565103.stm

    and:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/08/iran-halts-woman-death-stoning

    And after a pause they said seriously that they do not realise how people in this day and age can actualy behave in such fashion.

    I told them that this is exactly how Israelis feel every day of their lives.

    In the mean time:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/08/iran-halts-woman-death-stoning

    and

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/09/foreign-office-blog-lebanon-hezbollah-fadlallah

    But we need to think how this will be spinned.
    Suddenly they can say Israelis do “control” the media…
    Zionist do have a “powerful Lobby”.

    These figures are doing precisely what the Palestinian people crossing the check points with plastic guns are doing.
    They are probing.
    Testing the ground to see the reponse.
    Whether Nasr cared for the outcome or had another job lining up, only time will tell.
    But these are very dangerous times.

  31. More drip, drip, drip.

    According to Adam Shatz at the London Review of Books, the reason for the removal of Frances Guy’s blog was not only “mature consideration” by the FCO, but also “vituperative Israeli attacks.”

    As if mature consideration was insufficient in itself to remove Guy’s monstrosity – it required the extra and malign influence of the pariah state which, according to Shatz’s formula, could never be anything but “vituperative.”

    The man is a Schitz not a Shatz (the joke’s been made before I know).

    “Misperception, willful or naive, is to be expected in US commentary on the Middle East. But it’s hard to think of an Arab figure as consistently misperceived as the Lebanese Shia cleric Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, who died on 4 July (a holiday you can be fairly sure he wasn’t celebrating). In obituaries in the American press (and in poor Octavia Nasr’s tweet, which cost her a job at CNN), Fadlallah was, as ever, described as the ‘spiritual leader’ or ‘spiritual father’ of Hezbollah: never mind that he’d been estranged from Hezbollah since the 1990s. And he was invariably portrayed as a dangerous extremist, if not a terrorist. You would hardly know that he was the first cleric in the Islamic world to denounce the attacks of September 11, or that he was an advocate of gender equality and inter-religious dialogue, staking out positions which won him the praise of Frances Guy, Britain’s ambassador to Beirut. Guy may be joining Nasr on the unemployment line for cutting through the usual clichés about Hezbollah’s ‘spiritual leader’: her blog, honouring Fadlallah as a ‘decent man’ whose death left Lebanon ‘a lesser place’, was taken down by the Foreign Office after ‘mature consideration’ — and vituperative Israeli attacks. This article by David Kenner in Foreign Policy sets the record straight on a complicated and influential man.”

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/