Guardian

(Ben) White Wash at Amnesty


This is cross posted by Richard Millett

Ben White showing off his well-trolled quotes at Amnesty last night.

Ben White was last night handed the opportunity by Amnesty’s UK branch to call for the destruction of Israel. Not necessarily in the way Hamas would wish to achieve it, but White wants Israel changed from a Jewish state into another Muslim Arab state. This is what White thinks is “justice”.

Lest we forget that it was White who once wrote: “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are”.

For that and other statements of his there was a small protest outside Amnesty last night. Once sign read “Amnesty is great, except on Israel”, which is probably about right. Amnesty will stand up against other human rights’ abuses except when they are against Israel. They raised their voice in anger when Gaddafi was cruelly tortured before being executed, but when Israeli soldiers are kidnapped or Israeli children are bombarded by Hamas rockets from Gaza Amnesty falls silent.

Amnesty’s opposition to Israel’s existence is now, sadly, almost policy. Virtually no month passes without there being an anti-Israel event and never will there be a pro-Israel voice on the platform. One of Amnesty’s roles is to try to bury Israel.

White was promoting his new book Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy and it will be instructive to jump straight to the end of last night’s talk.

After calling for “A future based on a genuine co-existence of equals, rather than ethno-religious supremacy and segregation”, with its obvious anti-Semitic connotation of Jewish supremacy, White said (see clip):

“Instead of asking ‘can we return?’ or ‘when will we return?’ Palestinian refugees can ask ‘what kind of return do we want to create for ourselves?’ I think that’s a kind of beautiful phrasing actually that speaks to the liberation of the imagination that has to take place as we move towards securing a peace with justice”:

I can’t see Israelis ever voting for their state being changed into a Muslim Arab state, so what White is basically promoting is more war and bloodshed.

White’s talk, probably like his book, was a long list of out-of-context and out-of-date quotes.

He started with an apparent quote by Balfour in 1919 – “in Palestine we do not propose to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country” – and ended with one by Moshe Dayan’s father, MK Shmuel Dayan, from 1950 – “Maybe (not allowing the refugees back) is not right and not moral, but if we become just and moral, I do not know where we will end up”.

White must spend many nights trolling through the internet and old books looking for quotes that support his pursuit of Israel, but it is obviously a money-making exercise judging by the queue of people waiting for him to sign their copy of his 90-page book.

In between quotes he criticised Israel for what he calls the “Judaisation” of the Galilee and the Negev and for Israel not allowing “Palestinian citizens of Israel”, as he calls them, to live in Israel with their spouses who come from the West Bank and Gaza. The serious security implications for Israel if it allowed the latter are obvious, but Israel’s security isn’t high up on the list of White’s priorities.

During the Q&A he praised the protests during the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert at the Royal Albert Hall saying that the protests:

“Were targetting a body, the IPO, that receives funding from the Israeli state and also does concerts and stuff for Israeli soldiers.”

He raised the accusation of anti-Semitism aimed at him and said:

“The irony of the accusation of anti-Semitism against me in this context is that it is precisely opposition to all racism that informs my personal opposition to Israeli apartheid”.

And when someone asked him about Hamas and its policies White simply said that the evening wasn’t about Hamas but he hoped that the questioner would “support efforts to end the discriminatory practices against the Palestinians”.

It seems that Hamas is not much of an issue for White or Amnesty, whereas the Jewish state’s existence is.

More clips and photos from last night:

Ben White on “Jewish and Democratic?”

Ben White on “Judaisation” –

I bought this last night as no one else was buying.

13 replies »

  1. On Tanya Gold’s recent article on rising anti-Semitism in Cif, I couldn’t help but notice that an otherwise elusive commentator below the line, Ben White was quick off the mark this time coming second only to be beaten to the first place by the annoying little twerp Berchmans – both implying anti- Semitism is bad.

    I thought the lady doth protest too much.

    (it was just a ruse, for in the end, White went on to surreptitiously blame Jews for their predicament anyway).

    Amnesty International is just pits.They’ve sold out to extremist lefties (Nazis) and progressives whose main purpose in life is the destruction of Israel. There is a nasty whiff about them.

  2. The quote in the article is wrong.

    He did not write: ““I can understand very well that some people are unpleasant towards Jews”.

    He wrote: “I was somewhat startled by this, since I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are.”

    • The quote is to 1955. I happen to think it doesn’t mean a very great deal. It simply means that nations and states often act as expedient, not ‘moral’, in some absolute sense. Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians had resisted Jews’ returning, and rejected partition. Israel was acting in the same way.

      • ‘Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians had resisted Jews’ returning, and rejected partition.’

        That’s the part Ben White leaves out.

        • That’s interesting and as bad as just falsifying quotes.

          This I think is a balanced view;

          Zionism and expulsion of the Arabs – Anti-Zionists have insisted that Zionism plotted to expel the Arabs from Palestine. The claim has also been taken up by right-wing Zionist extremists, who can document it with various statements of leaders made at different times in favor of transfer of Arabs. It is true that some Zionist leaders made statements in favor of voluntary transfer of Arabs out of Palestine. There was no Zionist transfer policy however, except in acquiescence to the British Peel plan, which called for voluntary transfer of Arabs, and there was never an official Zionist policy or directive or order calling for mass expulsion of Arabs by force as a general policy. Plan Dalet (Plan D) issued in 1948, before Israeli independence, called for temporary expulsion of inhabitants of areas where it was necessary to secure roads that communicated between Jewish towns. This was necessitated by the road ambushes set up by Arab inhabitants in those villages.

          http://www.mideastweb.org/zionism.htm

  3. Amnesty’s mission is to monitor human rights abuses. That is one thing.
    But giving a platform to White and his highly politicised views (plus distortions and lies) is something altogether different.

    It’s good that you’re reporting this.

    • What jerks keep marking Pretzel down? I just noticed this going on. How petit, even though he expresses a view most of his detractors find conducive. Talk about group policing. Pathetic. One wonders what a state of Israel would look like with that regime…

  4. The correct response is nausea – human rights nausea, Amnesty International nausea, Islamophobia nausea.

    In fact, a catchall term would be Islamonausea per se.

    See http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/01/islamonausea-not-islamophobia.html

    open quote We should stop using Muslims’ self-chosen word – “Islamophobia” – by which they paint themselves into a corner of being feared: it destroys communication. Instead of such a divisive term, we should insert a more approachable and factual word that preserves opportunities for bridge-building and learning: “Islamonausea.” This does not render communication impossible, but enables visitors to our Western cultures to notice aspects of their behavior that make us sick. endquote