The Guardian’s Chris McGreal flubs Jewish demography

The Guardian’s Chris McGreal published ‘Obama urged: act tough on Israel or risk collapse of a two-state solution‘ on March 19, which contained two signature McGreal tactics. First, there is the suggestion of faux concern by the Guardian reporter, in the context of discussing a two-state solution, that Israel must be ‘saved from itself’, citing “growing warnings” from unnamed Zionist supporters. Also, he again advances his false claim (see also here) that Netanyahu didn’t in fact agree to a 10-month settlement freeze in 2009.

But then there was this especially curious passage:

Others have pointed up a recent Hebrew University demographic study, which showed that Jews are now in a minority in the occupied territories – suggesting that Israel’s democratic and Jewish character are threatened by its reluctance to give up territory to an independent Palestine.

His claim was further illustrated in the accompanying photo caption:


As would be obvious to even the causal Israel observer, of course, Jews are a minority in “occupied territories” and have been so since Israel’s founding.  There are no Jews in Gaza, roughly 325,000 Jews in the West Bank, and another roughly 190,000 in eastern Jerusalem. If you include Golan (another 19,000) that’s 537,000 Jews.  Since the non-Jewish population of of the West Bank is over 2.5 million, you don’t need a demographic study to conclude that Jews are a minority. 

So, while it’s difficult to know for sure what McGreal is referring to, he may have been eluding to a recently cited study by Sergio DellaPergola, a Hebrew University professor and expert on Israeli population studies.  However, McGreal, at the very least, evidently flubbed the data.  DellaPergola was citing the population of Jews relative to non-Jews in the entire historic land of Israel – from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, including Gaza, the West Bank and Israel proper – a politically meaningless stat, and certainly not consistent with McGreal’s characterization of the area as the “occupied territories”.  

Here’s a passage from a story about the issue in The Atlantic:

The statistics DellaPergola assembled are clear and their implications are frightening. Right now, the total number of Jews and Arabs living under Israeli rule in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza is just under 12 million people. At the moment, a shade under 50 percent of the population is Jewish.

Chris McGreal evidently conflated the data, confusing the Jewish population in the ‘occupied territories’ (in which they’re obviously a minority), with the total Jewish population the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel within the green line. 

Of course, there is one additional explanation for McGreal’s curious passage about “Jews now [being] a minority in the occupied territories.  Such a passage would follow only if he considers all of Israel ‘occupied Palestinian territory’.

So, which one is it:

1. McGreal comically misunderstood the data?

2. McGreal understood the data (concerning the Jewish population in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank), but he embraces the claims made routinely by Palestinian extremists (and some “moderate” Palestinians) that all of Israel is ‘occupied’ Palestinian land?


Whilst the former seems more likely, we wouldn’t put it past him to be implicitly endorsing the ‘Greater Palestine’ argument in the latter. 

174 replies »

  1. My guess is that McGreal misunderstood the data. As we have seen before, McGreal’s desperation to denigrate and belittle Israel at all costs does blind him to the facts.

    It is a psychological truism that people see what they want to see – an understandable bias in ordinary individuals, but a fatal flaw in a journalist.

    • My guess is that McGreal misunderstood the data.

      But someone like him who writes regularly about I/P must know that Jews are of course a distinct minority in the WB etc.

      Mabye he was just high or summat. Still – weird that the line is still there as of writing.

  2. Here is a quote from the article in Jewish Chronicle – read it and than discuss the racism inherent in the Israeli society.

    “it is too late for Israel to solve its demographic problem and avoid becoming a bi-national Jewish-Arab state by agreeing to a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. To remain a Jewish state, it will also have to surrender big chunks of its territory within the Green Line – its pre-1967 borders.
    That is the stark conclusion not only of Israeli left-wingers. It is also the basis of the policy of the hawkish Foreign Secretary Avigdor Lieberman and, it seems, of Yair Lapid, the celebrity journalist who is entering politics as a centrist determined to achieve an “efficient” divorce between Jew and Arab.
    The underlying reason is that, over the past 60 years, the Arabs living in Israel proper (including annexed East Jerusalem but not the West Bank) have increased from 11 to 21 per cent of the population. Jewish immigration, however large, has been trumped by Muslim Arab fertility.
    The high Muslim birth-rate has admittedly fallen in spurts over the past 40 years, most recently because of the settlement of the nomadic Bedouin in Negev towns. But, at 3.8 children per woman, it remains higher than that of the Jewish population (3.0) – and of the Arabs in nearby Egypt, Syria or Jordan. Demographers such as the eminent Hebrew University professor, Sergio Della Pergola (whose data I have used here), warn that, even if the Muslim birth-rate were to fall immediately to that of the Jews, the proportion of Arabs would continue rising for many years because they are much younger. At the same time, all the large sources of potential Jewish immigration have been exhausted.”

    Is this the reason behind the Apartheid Wall ?

    • The reason for the ‘Apartheid Wall’ is to keep Arab terrorists from killing Israeli civilians, both Jewish and Arab, note. As such, the barrier has been hugely successful.

      On the other side of the barrier from Israel you’ll find an area that the Palestinians appear to want for part of their state. In other words, if I really need to spell this out, on the other side of the wall there is yet another Arab country in the making, and, incidentally, doomed to fail. So how does a barrier between these areas constitute ‘Apartheid?’

      The Israel bashers have a peculiar sort of internal Apartheid in their thinking – one part evidently logical enough to write a coherent comment and the other full of biased, naive mush when it comes to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

    • Some people don;t agree with this
      In 2005, an American and Israeli demography team headed by Bennett Zimmerman and Yoram Ettinger confirmed the 2003 findings and, again, criticized both the illegitimate inclusion of Arab emigrants from the Palestinian Authority and the double counting of the East Jerusalem Arab population.[29] The Zimmerman and Ettinger study also revealed that, at the end of 2000, the Arab population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip numbered 2,246,000 people—1,280,000 in the West Bank and about 966,000 in the Gaza Strip.
      Careful demographic analysis, however, should lead to a conclusion in stark contrast to the demographic time bomb thesis. The natural increase of the Jewish population in Israel—that is, its yearly birth rate less its yearly death rate—stabilized thirty years ago and, since 2002, has even begun to grow. The natural increase of the total Arab population, comprising both Israeli Arabs and the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza, continues to descend toward convergence with the Jewish population, probably in the latter half of this century.

  3. I also think he misunderstood the data, for one main reason:

    It’s obvious from his writings that he is a near-total ignoramus re the history and current realities of the Israel-Arab conflict.

  4. Too True you are too good to be such a blatant racist. If the Wall is to keep Israelis safe why is it in Palestine is the obvious question. But I suppose it has the logic of why the Nazis forced the Polish Jews into the Warsaw Ghetto. Even the Jewish Chronicle compares the plight of the Jews in Poland in the decade leading to the second world war with that of the Palestinians.
    “Although Israeli Arabs have full voting rights, their situation is similar to that of te pre-1968 Ulster Catholics, or to the Jewish population of Poland in the decades leading up to the Second World War. The mainstream ethnic majority parties do little to appeal to them – so they vote for parties that are shunned and can never join a coalition government.”

    • Ashley, please provide statistics about the death rate per popltaion in both Gaza Strip and Warsaw ghetto.
      You can even minimize the “Ocupatoin” years into 10 years if you want. Any 10 years between 67 and current year.
      Come back with the answer and we can start talking.
      If, however, you will find out that it is hardly similar ratio, I expect nothing more than an apology and for you to feck the hell out of here.

    • Clearly that JC article is talking about the situation of Jews in Poland BEFORE the Nazis took over.

      But you knew that, didn’t you?

  5. TrueToo you are too honest to be true you really mean you have no answer and therefore resorting to calling names as any honest racist would do. Never mind I understand.

  6. Alexa humour me a bit as I have no reason to contradict you and may be Israel does not face a demographic time bomb as you say. But say if it did what would you suggest as a solution. Culling? Checkpoints where Palestinian mothers are forced to give birth or what? I hope you are right and Israel does not face the demographic crisis for the sake of the Palestinians

    • ashley – those are YOUR suggestions, plainly horrific and plainly nothing that any Israeli government would ever consider. Why waste everyone’s time with this nonsense?

    • 2 states is a solution most Isralei agree on. problem is who do we talk to PLO ?Hamas? Who is to promise us there won;t be another Gaza in the hills of Samaria.
      What is your solution ?

  7. Very few people on the Palestinian side would want to discuss with you how to resolve what some consider a demographic time bomb. and its resolution because the Palestinians find it difficult to see themselves a problem. Problem to the Palestinian is that Israel occupies their lands and think of Palestinians as a demographic issue. Whether you think the issue is a problem because of the varying interpretation of birth rates is not an issue to the Palestinian. Do you not get it. Put yourself in the shoes of those in the Warsaw Ghettos they did not see themselves as a problem. It was the Nazis who saw them as a problem. Palestinians do not see themselves as a problem. It is the Zionists who see Palestinians as a problem. See the similarities between those in the ghettos in Warsaw and the Palestinians living under occupation.

  8. Take this up with the Jewish Chronicle – they compared the Palestinians with the Jews in Poland in a decade before the world war 2 – Perhaps you think the pogroms against the European Jews started with the Gas Chambers. You are wrong. If humanity allows the atrocities against the Palestinians to continue there is very little in human history that suggests they may not face the same end. The discussion on this blog about the demographic time bomb is a testament to such a view. Why would any set of human beings even be considered a problem if they were to become a majority except by racists. Perhaps raising this here I am inviting an outburst unadulterated racism. I am quite positive however. I do not think humanity outside of this blog would allow another episode of atrocious Nazi behavior. Remember humanity brought to an end the Bantustan experiment Apartheid South Africa was bent on forcing over the Black South Africans. .

    • Why would any set of human beings even be considered a problem if they were to become a majority except by racists.

      If they had a record of genocidal intent, of atrocities celebrated by their children and a determination to translate intent into action, then they could reasonably be considered a problem. You would agree with that I’m sure?

    • Ashley George, old chap you really are an idiot. You take the burgeoning Palestinian population as evidence that the Jews are planning genocide on them?

      You haven’t even worked it out yet that the speedy increase in Palestinian population means that they are NOT suffering ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Jews.

      Someone has done a really good job on you

  9. What a racist prick – to oppose racism you have to be black? Why. I have nothing to do with India. I still object against racism and particularly caste discrimination in India. Have you protested against the Apartheid Wall. Watch the Israeli film 5 Broken Cameras – puts the whole thing in perspective. By the way Britain is about to pass laws outlawing caste discrimination.

    • Yet again, dear old Ashley calls someone a “racist” without any sort of cause at all. Who on earth mentioned skin colour? What on Earth are you on (about)?

      “Britain is about to pass laws outlawing caste discrimination.” OK. Thanks for that tip. Fascinating. Got any more newsflashes for us? Did you hear that new research shows that statins may cause kidney damage? That Napalm Death had their gig at the Royal Albert Hall cancelled?

    • Why am I a racist?
      Your use of this heavy emotionaly charged term makes it lose its meaning.
      Did you put it in perspective?
      You pushing a parallel between the Gaza and Warsaw (or any ghetto during WW2) shows you do not!
      I’m happy cause I wouldn’t want my kids growing up in a country that still uses them.

      • The last bit was about your mention of the anti cast discrimination laws introduced to the UK.

  10. The problem is that Palestinians overstate their population by a significant amount and the study simply takes Palestinian claims as fact. There is no accurate census of the Palestinian population.

    He also leaves out the fact that Gaza is not occupied at all. He also leaves out the fact that Israeli Arabs are Israeli citizens who have no desire to be part of a future Palestinian state. In fact, a majority of Israeli Arabs are proud to be Israeli citizens.

  11. Labenal – it is hard for you not to butt into other peoples conversation – I was responding to the person who specifically asked me what I was doing about discrimination in India. So I told him.

    Now what do you say about this racist debate whether Palestinians exist in numbers that may be a demographic time bomb. Irrespective of which side of the debate you sit do you not think the question itself is racist? Why if the Palestinians outnumber Israelis that constitute a danger is racist by itself.

    • Ashley, some of the Palestinians are Israelis.
      In fact, my mother was a Palestinian when she was born in 1942…

    • Ashley – if you want a private conversation, don’t try to have one on a blog that is freely accessible to anyone who wishes to access it. In any case, you still have not answered why you thought Itsik’s comment meant “you have to be black” to oppose racism. It clearly doesn’t. Can you admit you were wrong – at least on this point?

  12. Alexa – you have hit on another similarity between those in the Warsaw Ghettos and the Palestinians under occupation. They both do not see themselves as the problem. They both do not want to discuss how to solve the problem Nazis had with the Jews or the Zionists have with the Palestinians except to say to the get over your racism.

    • Ashley (do you mind me “butting in here”? I hate to intrude!)

      Your question betrays your innate bias. Israelis (as a whole) do not see the Palestinians per se “as a problem”. You assume that they do. This perceived attitude does not need to be justified, as it is a false assumption on your part.

      Relations between Israel and the Palestinians, on the other hand, is clearly a problem that affects everyone – Israeli and Palestinian. Get the difference?

    • Comparisons between the Palestinians and victims of the Warsaw ghetto are grotesque and anti-Semitic, and so are you.

    • So Ashly you proopose that the Jews were the problem in WW2 . It is all becuase the Jews didn;t want to discuss with the Nazi why the Nazis wanted to kill them?
      Poor Nazis it was Jews fualt that they had to kill 6 million of them.

  13. Labenal So explain why we are discussing the demographic problem. Irrespective of whether you think the Palestinian numbers are going to increase or not increase you still think if they increase they will be a problem. That to me suggests a consensus among at least those who are discussing the problem that in some sufficient numbers Palestinians are a problem. Do you not think that is racism. You are not paying to attention to the debate are you. Nobody who supports Israel has said it does not matter how the numbers go there is no problem with Palestinians. They are arguing numbers of Palestinians that could constitute a problem. Racism or what?

    • “They are arguing numbers of Palestinians that could constitute a problem. Racism or what?”

      Couldn’t really be racism but could be a response to it. The Palestinians were and remain obsessed with the idea of removing Israel and its Jews. Why would they do that do you think?

    • I think you should explain it Ashley as it was you who begun this discussion.
      So why did you write about the demographic problem?

  14. alexa pay attention sleeping on the job –
    Have you read the title of the blog – by the way I did not write the blog
    The Guardian’s Chris McGreal flubs Jewish demography
    the blogger goes on to state So, while it’s difficult to know for sure what McGreal is referring to, he may have been eluding to a recently cited study by Sergio DellaPergola, a Hebrew University professor and expert on Israeli population studies. However, McGreal, at the very least, evidently flubbed the data. DellaPergola was citing the population of Jews relative to non-Jews in the entire historic land of Israel – from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, including Gaza, the West Bank and Israel proper – a politically meaningless stat, and certainly not consistent with McGreal’s characterization of the area as the “occupied territories”.

    It is so frustrating when people in the middle of a discussion forget the topic of discussion. I did not choose the topic. I do not see the demographic problem. I suggest those who see demographic changes could cause a problem are being racist because effectively in sufficient numbers a group of people are a problem.

    • ashley – pay attention. Sleeping on the job.
      Just because the article is about demography, it doesn’t follow that it is a racist article expressing the opinion that the numbers of Palestinians is a “problem”. That is all your own work.

      The article merely points out obvious errors in the use of demographic data by Chris McGreal. The only evidence in that article that there is any concern amongst Israelis may have about these stats is provided by McGreal and even that is just his opinion.

      So – just where did this idea of yours that Israelis are pre-occupied with some racist fear of a “demographic timebomb” come from? Clearly it came from your racist presumption of Israeli guilt.

      • “ashley – pay attention. Sleeping on the job.”
        Labenal, how unfair of you to use punctuation. Do you not see the inherent racism? : )

  15. Itsik said “Now why don’t you move along and moan about the India partition instead” Now I assumed he was saying these blacks have their own problems and they are hassling European colonizers in Israel about their racism. I answered his questions accordingly. If he did not imply I as black than why bring India into it. Or is he saying I am a Hindu which amounts to the same thing.

    • Ashley – again, I ask you: Where did Itsik mention or imply or refer to your skin colour or anyone else’s skin colour? He mentioned INDIA, not “these blacks”.

      By the way, I like the way you sneaked in a quick mention of the fictional “European colonisers in Israel”. As if white Jews from Europe are not entitled to self-determination, only brown middle-Eastern ones. And you accuse others of racism!

      • Funny how it was arabs themselves who recognize the historical conection of Jews to this land
        King Feisal of Iraq wrote in 1918
        At the same time, we have seen the Jews from foreign countries streaming to Palestine from Russia, Germany, Austria, Spain, and America. The cause of causes could not escape those who had a gift of deeper insight. They knew that the country was for its original sons [abna’ihi-l-asliyin], for all their differences, a sacred and beloved homeland. The return of these exiles [jaliya] to their homeland will prove materially and spiritually an experimental school for their brethren who are with them in the fields, factories, trades and all things connected to the land.” 3

    • Ashley:

      “Itsik said “Now why don’t you move along and moan about the India partition instead”.. Or is he saying I am a Hindu which amounts to the same thing.”

      Ashley – “Now I assumed he was saying these blacks have their own problems and they are hassling European colonizers in Israel about their racism.”

      A) You assumed wrong. At what point did I introduce skin colour – and how does that fits with india being mentioned?

      Ashley – ” they are hassling European colonizers..”

      B) I do not believe there are european colonizers in Israel. The land been bought from the Ottoman and alloted by the mandated powers of the time. Disputed territories or territory won by war (Golan heights) may be another matter.

      Ashley – “…European colonizers in Israel about their racism…”

      C)When you mention European colonizers in Israel I suspect you don’t refer to Eli Yishai for example? I would have more beef with him than with bibi for example.

      Ashley – “I answered his questions accordingly.”

      D)You did not answer my question accordingly. You accused me of being a racist rather than seek clarification before hand.

      Ashley – “If he did not imply I as black than why bring India into it.”

      E)What has India to do with Black people? They natives are Asians as they are called in the UK (when reffering to greater India) or depending on the post partition years’ nationalities such as Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans etc.
      By calling them Black you display a typical White old European Racism.

      Ashley – “Or is he saying I am a Hindu which amounts to the same thing.”

      F) What does the Hindu religion has to do with it? The Partition of India affected Muslims, Hindus, and many other religions.
      In far greater numbers than the partition of Palestine.
      The caste system has nothing to do with what I meant neither your imagining me hinting at you being a Hindu.

      Now on a personal note, do you experiment with pills? Your jumping into conlusions, your hyper childish attitude and your verbal skills, assuming English is your native tounge (your name is English after all), I have made the assumption you display the attitude of someone who is taking pleasure of this online debate seeing it as a game or someone who is using drugs like Extacy or speed, perhaps acid.
      Forgive me if I’m wrong but you do not answer any questions posted at you, rather you behave like a troll.

  16. Labenal – in their own homes not in somebody else’s and not certainly not entitled to chuck the natives out. But than that is how European History is. They always thought they own the world. Also, you can refuse to accept my answer but I have given you a perfectly credible explanation. I think it would be construed racist to suggest to somebody to go and talk about India when we are talking about something else. .

    • Great. Glad to see you’ve dropped the non-sensical allegation that Itsik brought up colour or “these blacks”. It was frankly embarrassing.

      Now, apparently, it is racist to “suggest” talking about India! Oh dear me.

      Your comments about “somebody else’s land” and “chucking the natives out” are ridiculous too. What you and your fellow “ethnic cleansing” junkies consistently fail to explain is why the Arab population of Israel (and we will talk about pre-1967 Israel here) has GROWN since 1948. Some ethnic cleansing.

  17. Ashley George
    You appear to have issues with the security fence . In fact so grave are your concerns that you lecture us on our ‘ inherent racism ‘ that prompted the implementation of the ‘ seperation wall ‘ .
    So question for you if you are still around . Were you similarly concerned when Palestian psychopaths were crossing an open border in order to blow themselves up in restaurants , buses , shopping malls etc .
    I mean so motivated as to comment on Arab / Palestinian / BDS blogs expressing your disgust and outrage for the wanton acts of barbarism . I could be wrong but I don’t think you ever did . Perhaps you can share one or two archived comments to prove how wrong I am !

    As for not building exactly on 67 borders well frankly I for one don’t give a rats arse for equal measures . Palestine lost the right to equal give and take a long time ago , in fact when the first of there homicidal maniacs crossed the open border fitted with explosive vests .
    It’s called cause and effect . In any event Israeli courts invariably reroute the fence where adequate grounds are provided .

    And one final question . If it was a land grab , why build it on 67 borders . Surely Israel would build it right up against the borders with Jordan encompassing all of the West Nank . So why on 67 borders .

    Don’t bother trying to answer . You lost your way coming to this site . Go play with yourself over at Storm Front or its ugly sisters Electronic Intifada , Mondoweiss and MPAC .

    • Well said Harvey, except of course the 67 cease-fire lines have never been formally recognised as “borders”. All the UN resolutions are clear that final borders are “to be negotiated”. So the 67 green line was only ever a starting point for negotiation, not a border.

  18. Ok this is what David Ben Gurion had to say about the Palestinians and he was not wrong. I wish today’s Israelis would be as honest as the early pioneers.

    “But the fighting is only one aspect of the conflict which is in its essence a political one. And politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves. Militarily, it is we who are on the defensive who have the upper hand but in the political sphere they are superior. The land, the villages, the mountains, the roads are in their hands. The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country, while we are still outside. They defend bases which are theirs, which is easier than conquering new bases… let us not think that the terror is a result of Hitler’s or Mussolini’s propaganda — this helps but the source of opposition is there among the Arabs.”

    • Natzie always posts the same citation from Goldmann`s book. It is nothing Ben Gurion said, only what Goldmann wrote.
      Our resident Natzie likes the use of lies and fakes against Jews

    • He also said this at the begining
      The Palestinian Arabs are not alone. The Syrians are coming to help. From our point of view, they are strangers; in the point of law they are foreigners; but to the Arabs, they are not foreigners at all … The centre of the war is in Palestine, but its dimensions are much wider. When we say that the Arabs are the aggressors and we defend ourselves — this is only half the truth. As regards our security and life we defend ourselves and our moral and physical position is not bad. We can face the gangs… and were we allowed to mobilize all our forces we would have no doubts about the outcome.

  19. Labenal I think you are deliberately twisting what Ashley said – He did not say it racist to talk about India. He said it was racist to say when we are talking about racism in the context of Israel to suggest that perhaps you should go and talk about India instead. The implication is that you are siding with the Palestinian you have to be an Indian so why do you not go and talk about India. I thought Ashley’s response was very restrained to such an outright racism.

    • What’s this? A brand new character brought in for special comment? you’re twisted. Hit the road.

      • No, not twisted–he just doesn’t realize how transparent his “I’m not Ashley, I’m someone else who thinks Ashley is right-on!” ploy is.

    • Jabal Karim,

      If Ashley misunderstood my posting she should have asked me what i meant.

      At no point did I thought that Ashley George was of Indian decent.
      I wouldn’t dream of associating her with the sub continent of india.

      She’s more like someone from a European “enlightened” bunch which chose a poltical role out of bordom in a matter she knows little about.

      I, as an Israeli Jew, reserved my right to support the Arab Palestinians right to self government and self determination but not on the account of the Jews national home and only through a just solution.
      I do not agree with their methods or their governments support of terrorists.

      I couldn’t care about your views but Ashley’s view seems to be that the Jewish state is a racist enterprise and while she happily shouts about the need to kill off Zionism she refuses to do the same regarding Pakistan for example.

      “The All India Muslim League (AIML) had been formed in Dhaka in 1906 by Muslims who were suspicious of the Hindu-majority Indian National Congress. They complained that Muslim members did not have the same rights as Hindu members. A number of different scenarios were proposed at various times. Among the first to make the demand for a separate state was the writer and philosopher Allama Iqbal, who, in his presidential address to the 1930 convention of the Muslim League, proposed a separate nation for Muslims was essential in an otherwise Hindu-dominated Indian subcontinent….In 1940, Jinnah made a statement at the Lahore conference that seemed to call for a separate Muslim country.”

      The funny thing is that all Muslim parties opposed this plan, as they did with the division of Palestine.
      The difference is that in 1947 in India over 12 million people were displaced, while in the division of British mandated Palestine only 1.65 million were affected, taking into account the Jewish cleansing from Arab and Persian land in the following 40 years.
      Ashley ignores this entirely and this is why I brought it up.
      If you oppose Jewish nationality, you should oppose all Nationality and most certainly religious based countries such as Iran, saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Greece and so fourth.

      Disagreeing stinks of double standards.

  20. Ashley should enter a competition to see who can waste the most space with the most repetitive, ignorant and boring pile of fertiliser possible to inflict on fellow bloggers.

    He appears to genuinely believe that all would be sweetness and light in an Arab-majority country between the Jordan River and the sea.

    He never noticed that Mahmoud Abbas has insisted there will be no Jews in his Palestinian state.

    He never noticed that every Arab country has expelled or otherwise driven out the vast majority of its Jewish citizens and that many Arab countries are now completely free of Jews.

    He never noticed that Hamas fantasises about a Jew-free Israel and the means to achieve that end.

    He never noticed that Egyptian state media pumps out anti-Semitic propaganda to rival that of the Nazis or that Hamas and Hezbollah do the Nazi salute.

    He never noticed that Saudi Arabia stocks its Western schools with textbooks that describe Jews and Christians as the sons and daughters of monkeys and pigs.

    If he had noticed anything at all about the Arab side of the Israeli-Arab conflict, he might have realised that the Arabs have some real racists among them. Plenty, in fact.

  21. Having read the comments I thought I would look up something positive about the I/P conflict and I found the following youtube talk by a son of a General who lost his young niece to the conflict.

    It definitely worth watching for anybody who is genuinely interested in learning about the conflict and those who want to know what is possible.

    As for the last comment by Truetoo I just wish Prince Charles had not gone to Saudi Arabia on a day when the Kingdom executed seven young man for a crime they committed as juveniles. The crime was just of simple robbery. Perhaps we need a campaign to boycott Saudi Arabia.

    • Whoops!
      You must have made a mistake. After all, you didn’t really mean to learning anything about the “conflict”, from a deranged, lying extremists like Peled(who got a snug book deal out of his prevarications), and presently resides in the US?
      No, of course not.
      What you really wanted to post, was this: an edifying, fascinating talk given by Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini, that’ll set you aright on the issues pertinent to the Israeli-Pal. impasse:

      There, I believe that’s better.
      (P.S. Peled’s father — aka the “mythical General” — has been dead for over 17 years now. Isn’t it time for Peled Jr. to stop exploiting that gravy-train?)

      • Commentary101

        I need a long shower after wading through more than I should have of the crap from Peled and friends.

        Then, when I get more time I’ll concentrate on your video.

    • Jonathan Briggs. For goodness sake. He begins by saying something about Zionism being based on lies and the Palestinians having been kicked out of “their country” – all the old Israel-hating propaganda – and you really believe this character has something relevant to contribute to an understanding of the Israeli-Arab conflict?

      I’ve been gritting my teeth and skimming through it, on the principal that it’s important to know your enemy.

      And that shmuck from ‘Revolution Books,’ who can’t open his mouth without asking the audience for money over and over and over again and the publisher doing the same thing and holding the book up, in case there is one person in the audience who hasn’t yet been bludgeoned half to death with demands to buy the thing.

      Good to know that they are struggling and appear to be irrelevant.

      Now if you think Peled has something to offer with his vindictive little agenda, calling Israel a “monster” and a “terrorist” and his claim “Iran poses no threat,” and his venomous remark that, “The worst thing that happened to the Jewish people after the Holocaust was the creation of the State of Israel,” then you need some seriouseducation

  22. Here is the bio of who you called the mythical Generals – Generals do not become mythical just because they die. Atleast Peled is talking on the topic.

    During the severe political crisis of May 1967, in the lead-up to the Six-Day War, Peled—then at the rank of Aluf (Major General) and in charge of the IDF Supply Division—was considered a hawk. At the time when the government of PM Levi Eshkol seemed to be hesitating whether or not to launch a pre-emptive attack on the Egyptian armies concentrating in the Sinai, Peled was among a group of generals who demanded that the government start a war, and threatened to resign if it did not.
    Others involved in this Generals’ Protest (which became known to the general public only many years later[citation needed]) were then Major General Ariel Sharon and Major General Israel Tal. Sharon later became Defence Minister and Prime Minister and held positions then diametrically opposite Peled’s; Tal, who later also became a dove, but a less radical one, never entered active politics.
    Some historians credit the Generals’ Protest, of which Peled was part, with a decisive role in Israel’s making the decision to launch the Six-Day War—a crucial turning point in the history of the country and of the entire Middle East to the present day. Others, however, assert that the Eshkol Government had already decided to go to war and that its apparent hesitation was mainly aimed at gaining international (and specifically, American) support.
    When later asked about this incident—as he was on numerous occasions during his later career on the Left—Peled expressed no regret, and stated that having been in charge of the Supply Division, he was aware that prolonged mobilization, with the IDF reserves comprising a significant percentage of Israel’s overall workforce, would severely cripple the country’s economy (which at the time already suffered from a severe, years-long recession). Therefore, Peled asserted, he was duty-bound to tell the government that the country could not afford a long mobilization and that it had to strike ” a sharp decisive blow” after which the reserves could be discharged—which is what Israel proceeded to do in the June 1967 Six-Day War.
    Peled reiterated, however, that he had conceived of this as a purely military operation to counter a military threat, and that he had no idea that Israel would maintain occupation of the territories captured for decades afterwards, or establish settlements designed to effect their annexation and permanently change their demographic character. He had opposed these tendencies as soon as they appeared, in the aftermath of the war.
    Peled retired from military life in 1969. In that period he visited Vietnam as an official guest of the U.S. Army and was cordially received by American generals. At the time he still supported the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, a position that was to change in subsequent years.

    As for your lawyer – I understand he was trained at Tel-Aviv does Israeli law allow the defense that says my lord but several thousand other murders were committed that my client had nothing to do with so why you want to punish him for the murder he committed. Also what a line what we did was a norm so it is alright. No it is not it is still a crime. I think I am not surprised he is not practicing law and moved into creative journalism. As for they were called Arabs and not Palestinians. Well the French are also called Europeans and some of the Germans were called Prussians. I do not know what point this Arab is making. He can also be called Yemeni or a Jew. People have multiple identities based on characteristics.

    • So you can copy and paste from Wikipedia? Good for you!
      Now tell me, how does it answer my question?
      Is the son whose video you plastered here, the General?(hint: No He’s not)
      Did the son do anything notable or illustrious with his life?(Hint: no, he didn’t. He has since moved to the US — something his father would have deplored).
      So, here we have a propagandist, an opportunist, who is bankrolled by his lies — in the form of Peled.
      Trustworthy: Ha, fat chance!
      When will the exploitation of the father end?
      I am glad you watched Yemini. I am sure you have gleaned a great deal out of it, even though you’re now trying your hardest — in a very pathetic showing — to dispute the very voluminous, and informative talk he gave.
      Speaking of crimes — or mysteries, I should say — tell us what’s lurking behind “Jonathan Briggs”?
      I mean, it’s patently obviously that that is not your name. In fact, I assume the actual form to be some play on “Jabal Karim”, or some such.
      Tell us, are you that insecure, are you that snivelling, that you feel the need to masquerade in Anglo-Saxon nomenclature?
      Sounds like this tantrum against Israel , is just projection — isn’t it — of your own foibles?
      And guess what sort of crime your protegees(the Palestinians) have just committed, this on the day of the President of the US visit to their parts?
      Are you going to whitewash that? Should be fun, I reckon.

  23. I was quite explicit in calling him the son of a General – however he did serve in the IDF – he lost his neice in the conflict. He knows more about the conflict and is talking about it unlike that Arab lawyer turned creative journalist who is talking about other conflicts.

    • The “Lawyer” as you term him, did not early serve, in a combat unit in the IDF(unlike your fabled, and prodigal Son), but is very fluent in Arabic, thus knows a great deal more about the conflict, its roots, and its future, than a casual moron, who’s busying cashing in on his father’s legacy.
      I’ve asked you, time and time again, when will Peled Jr. stop milking Senior’s grave? Surely it’s time to let the poor man rest in peace?
      Yemini is busying exposing the hypocrisy of the likes of you — and you’re obviously livid.
      He has also spoken against people of different, Oriental backgrounds, adopting westernised — Anglicised — habits and conduits.
      Ring any bells there, “Mr. Briggs”?

    • Hey JB. My father was an accountant and I know some accountants – I have even dealt with them in the course of my work and have employed them to advise me on certain matters. In fact, I lost my aunt to accountancy (she is one). Does that qualify me in any special way to comment on the future of accountancy? Or the intricacies of the tax regime?

      Do you think anyone would take me seriously if I stood up in an anti-capitalism seminar and presented myself as an expert on the basis of my father’s qualifications?

  24. Nat, Ashley, Karim, Jonathan – what is the real name of our resident Natie troll, Adam?

  25. At least he is not justifying ethnic cleansing, murder and mayhem on the basis of that was the norm or so many others are doing the same.. Perhaps my Scottish accent is not obvious to you. Otherwise as a Scot I am insulted you calling me English.

    That Yemeni’s Arabic is a bit rusty I think Was the Holocaust a norm. I do not think so. It was a crime against Humanity and as Peled says never again. .

    • “At least he is not…”, but “Briggs” — aka Jabal Karim — of course he is!
      He says nothing about the expulsion, spoliation, rampage, pillaging and as you say, mayhem that beset Jews living in Arab lands.
      “Never again”, eh?
      “Your Scottish accent”? I think you mean your Pakistani/Oriental accent(And don’t they teach English grammar, wherever you’re from?).
      Drop the act; no Scot I know is as bigoted and as ignorant as you are.

      • Com101:
        “Drop the act; no Scot I know is as bigoted and as ignorant as you are.”

        You sure?
        Can’t a certain Glasgow man fit the cap?

        • TrueToo, and Itsik,
          You’re all very correct, of course. I was sure to preface my statement with no one that I know.
          That there is a great deal of Scottish anti-Semites, is well known, and common knowledge.
          I’ve always made sure, however, to never associate with those people; and sadly, the malady of anti-Semitism has plagued the English as well, in equal measure(Since Edward I, I fear, and his depredations on Jews).

          • My daughter just had a year 7 history work about King Richard the Lion heart and Salah A Din.
            Amazing how her teacher seems at a miss about Richard’s anti Semitism and the Crusaders attitude towards non belivers and the Jews in perticular.
            amazing even so how Salah A Din was the saviour of those Jews back then.

            What is amazing is the amount of attention that modern Arab rullers apply to Salah A Din (Like Gaddafi and Saddam) as an example of Arab courage while Salah A Din was in fact a Kurd and in the case of Saddam, or Ottomans / Turks they were actualy slaughtering Kurds.

      • Hey Commentary. Not sure where you are getting this presumption of this troll’s nationality from. There are plenty of antisemites and anti-Zionists of all nationalities – even Scottish. In fact, many Scottish campuses are hotbeds of anti-Zionism.

        In any event, what does his/her nationality actually matter? What he/she says is despicable, wherever in the world he/she calls home.

        • Hey Labenal.
          I don’t like pretences, and moreover those which apply to authority, by decking someone/something with English-sounding names.
          It’s truly the most despicable form of argument. And all the more infuriating, because it’s so absurd:
          As you say, his nonsense is unchanged one way or the other. It doesn’t make it more valid; but that he would think, out of a sense of his own inferiority or self-pity, that he needs to coat his statements(otherwise worthless prolix) in an English veneer is, in my mind, all the more galling, and really, truly nauseating.
          I just want everything out in the open. If he hates — which he does, viscerally — Israel/Jews, let him channel it through his own culture/history/what have you. Don’t let him hide behind someone else’s.
          He’s got nothing to be ashamed of — for his provenance, tongue or language — but for his foul, racist, and insubstantial views.

        • Also, and not to belabour the point, I’ve mentioned Yemini specifically, for this purpose.(If you recall, we’ve discussed him, sometime ago).
          He is a vocal opponent of Mizrahi Jews feeling any sort of inferiority to their Ashkenasi brethren. Needless to say, I am of that opinion, but I like to apply it universally to everyone: “Orientalism” needn’t exist. Any person, irrespective of his cultural background should be able to voice his views, and corroborate them with his own experience, no matter where it comes from.
          This should be obvious. Unfortunately some people are still beguiled by “Orientalism” and expressly feel that all cultural criticism should extend from Western dialectics.

      • Sorry to contradict the Scottish nod but looks like you never heard of the Douche bag Mick Napier .

  26. do you get paid for correcting the Guardian – I notice Guardian does not acknowledge your corrections. May be they still pay you. Stop making money out of silly corrections.

  27. As a Scot, I refuse to work unless I get paid does that make me a Jew? No
    Does that make me a Scot? No
    I was born in Scotland and my parents are Scots does that make me a Scot? Yes

    cba – Please stop making racist comments.

  28. Nat`s imposing every nationality, from Scot to Libanese, but he has only one homeland in the otherworld, Anti-Semitism.

  29. Fritz I know where Scots come from. Where do Libanese come from? Are you making a threat?

  30. Of course itsek it was not a threat to you. How does one get to the other world. Do you know?

    • Yet another imaginary phantom conjoured up by ashley. Oh sorry, it’s Jonathan now, isn’t it? Funny how you seem to share the compulsion to accuse people of dreadful things with exactly no evidence outside your vibrant imagination.

      Just to spell it out for you, as you are clearly slow on the uptake. When Fritz said the “otherworld”, he was implying you clearly don’t live in the REAL World like the rest of us. He meant that you apparently dwell in some fantasy place/alternative reality where Israel is virulently racist, guilty of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, where Palestinians are equivalent to the Jewish victims of the holocaust and where Itsik and I are evil racists and Fritz has made a death threat.

      I will make it even simpler for you. He said you are nuts.

      There. Words of one syllable. Clear enough for you?

  31. Yes, I hear this from racists very often. Now may be I am reading too much being called nuts. Very clear definite racism.

    • How does calling you nuts on supposition of you being insane equates to racism?
      Now that you need to answer!
      I expect an apology from Ashley, Jabal on their part for calling me a racist.
      Do you happen to know them?

  32. Assuming insanity based on the perception of somebody’s race is itself racist. Don’t you think?

    • Jonathan. Nobody on this blog has the faintest idea what your ethnicity or race is. You have told us you are Scottish. But last time I checked, there are Scots of all religions and races. You may have noticed that there is no picture of you on this site, and we can’t hear your accent (though you seem to think we ought to be able to).

      In other words – being called nuts is NOTHING THE FUCK TO DO WITH YOUR RACE. it is simply because of the nutty things you have been posting. Got it? Probably not!

  33. Labenal Manners do not cost anything – why don’t you read some of the comments and you will understand. But than you are also saying the similar things, swearing and all, and you think you are not doing anything wrong.

    • If you wish to look at my 100s of posts on this site you will see that I go out of my way to avoid swearing and name-calling. You have been the first to goad me into a bit of shouty obscenity. Well done.

      Still, if swearing at you and assuming you are insane counts as racism in your book, then frankly your opinion matters less to me than the size of the craters on the moons of Saturn.

  34. Was your father a General as well. I would like to hear from you how the IDF officers working with him treated the Palestinians. Peled talks a great deal about what his father and his own experience in the IDF.

    Perhaps we can from you as well. Whatever you say will be educational but do try and be truthful.

    • You simply don’t get the point of anything do you? My story about my father was an ANALOGY. If you don’t know what that is, I suggest you look it up.

  35. Was your father a General as well. I would like to hear from you how the IDF officers working with him treated the Palestinians. Peled talks a great deal about what his father and his own experience in the IDF.

    Perhaps we can hear from you as well. Whatever you say will be educational but do try and be truthful.

  36. You mean if the IDF had not protected the civilians they would have killed many more than the 1400 they killed in 3 weeks in 2008/2009 including 13 members of one family. How very nice? However, I still think HAMAS is even more careful they attacked Israel today and did not kill a single person.

    • So what, moron? Hamas wanted war and war they´ve got. Meanwhile, you should join a Scottish Salafist Gang and move to Gaza. With luck, they’ll behead you before raping you.

    • Fewer than half were civilians (as a look at the Hamas website a few weeks after the event will testify–the photos of many of those originally claimed as “civilians” showing them posing with weapons and hailed as “martyrs” who died fighting. In most asymmetric conflicts around the world (including those that involve the UK) a ratio of 3 – 10 civilians to 1 bad guy is considered acceptable. In Gaza, it was less than 1 civilian to 1 bad guy.

      Even 1 civilian is one too many, and Israel works constantly to try to reduce the number further. But innocents DO get killed when there’s fighting, especially when the bad guys deliberately fire from civilian areas.

      So yes, what you wrote is correct: ” if the IDF had not protected the civilians they would have killed many more”

  37. cba that is HAMAS’s objective 1 person killed is one too many that is why when their missile hit Israel yesterday it did not kill a single person. Seen from the perspective of humanitarian values HAMAS outstrips the Zionists 1000 to 1 – do you not think? Please not racist slurs. See things objectively.

    • Seen from the perspective of humanitarian values HAMAS outstrips the Zionists 1000 to 1 – do you not think?
      I don’t know what cba thinks but me – I don’t think at all. Your perspective is as humanitarian as the perspective of Otto Jespersen of the Norwegian TV..
      Do you really think that the actions of the participants in a conflict must be judged by the number of casualties?
      If yes then sadly you are not only a malicious antisemite but a moron too who gives a bad name for the real humanitarians. And being racist – you are not a moron due to your Scottish origin but due to your distorted psyche of a loser. I’m ready to bet that you have serious personal problems regarding your professional career, love life, body height, sex life (maybe all of them) and as usual with your kind the blame must be put on the Jews/Israel.

    • Whooooosh!!!!!!!!!!!

      That was the sound of the point flying way over the head of Jonathan Briggs.

      I’m also not sure where he gets any racism from the comment he was responding to. Unless “racist” in his language means “something I can’t actually argue against using facts or logic.”

    • “that is HAMAS’s objective 1 person killed is one too many that is why when their missile hit Israel yesterday it did not kill a single person. ”

      Yes, of course, so nice of Hamas to put so much time effort and money into such a…humanitarian program, at least insofar as failing at attempted murder is an act of humanitarianism. And so “objective” of you to keep us informed about your acid trip. Must be very strong stuff.

      • One more thing: Now that you’ve managed to insult the human capacity for reason itself, maybe it’s time for you to just clear out. And do take your crayons with you.

  38. I do not know how they judge things in Hungary but if the claim is made of being humanitarian than the judgement is based on the number of casualties a particular army’s actions causes. If army A causes no human casualties as against 1400 caused by army B objectivity suggests army A is more humanitarian. It may be a very bad army measured against the number of enemy casualties it causes but it still remains a more humanitarian army. I think your inherent racism prevents you to be objective. Calling people moron only suggests you have lost the argument.

    • I do not know how they judge things in Hungary…
      So says a real anti racist…
      If army A causes no human casualties as against 1400 caused by army B objectivity suggests army A is more humanitarian.
      Obviously. Hamas is the most humanitarian army in the history of humankind simply because they are laughably incompetent and coward – fighting from behind civilians.
      The world and logic of a real humanitarian…
      I think your inherent racism prevents you to be objective.
      Naturally Briggs. Thank you for your contribution.
      Calling people moron only suggests you have lost the argument.
      Not exactly. It suggests that I stated a very realistic diagnosis of your intellectual abilities not using complicated professional terminology to make it easy for you to understand.
      And BTW calling your opponents racists without even the slightest reason really means that you lost the argument.

    • A: “The moon is made of blue cheese.”
      B: “No it isn’t. All scientific evidence proves what you say to be false.”
      A: “But the moon landings didn’t happen. The moon is really a ball of blue cheese projected onto the dome of the sky by the lizard-people who convince us that the world is round. It’s flat, by the way.”
      B: “Shut up, moron.”
      A: “Callling me a moron only suggests you have lost the argument.”

    • This guy obviously thinks that during WWII, Britain and the other Allies were the bad guys and Germany and the other Axis powers were the good guys, since there were fewer Allies casualties (far fewer) than Axis casualties.

      • cba,
        Alternative theory. Maybe thinks the Nazis were the good guys because he’s Nazi (the same reason he’s into Hamas).

  39. If the Arabs are coward and incompetent why are you so hell bent to be in the region. Just go back to Hungary.

    • Jonathan. How could you make such a racist statement. “Just go back to Hungary”. That is disgusting. You are a filthy racist.

    • Just go back to Hungary.
      The problem Briggs that in Hungary your Nazi colleagues say the Hungarian Jews : “Go to israel!”. After the Hungarian MALEV company went to receivership the price of the plane tickets went up dramatically so you would certainly understand that I will rather stay here.
      But naturally you are very welcome to came here and try to make me leave.

    • If the Arabs are coward and incompetent…
      Briggs I know that persons belonging to your group are generally extremely dishonest and dumb but this?!
      I wrote that Hamas are incompetent and coward and you translated Hamas to Arabs? So you think that all Arabs are murderous Hamas like coward bullies?
      Shame on you…
      We are used here to read posts from the the most bizarre so called “pro-Palestinian” posters like your newly returned fellow village idiot – the self declared anarchist philosopher Avram Meitner – but even compared to him you are something…

  40. Did I see that Palestinian removed from the hall carrying the placard saying “Yankee go home” – as Hussain Obama spoke oblivious of the fact that he is himself a son of the colonized. Perhaps his father protested just like that young Palestinian when the Kings of England visited Kenya.

    I find nothing racist about asking the Yankee to go home. It is racist for the Yankee to think the world is his oyster and he can do with it what he pleases. He may think that but others do not agree with him.

    • Pling! Zoink! Tak tak tak! Ching!

      That was the sound of JB’s tiny brain bouncing around like a pinball from one buch of irrelevant fantasies and another inside his cavernous head.


      That was the sound of me reading his latest garbled nonsense.

    • There is nothing racist about asking the Yankee to go home , But quiet hypcritic to ask the people who without their money the PA would collapse, to go home.

      • It’s always interesting to see these trolls (and their sock puppets) show up here immediately spewing their so-called “anti-racist” credentials, obsessively charging anyone who argues against their morally and intellectually inverted perverse delusions with “racism”, and at the end exposing only themselves as truly racist. It’s something you can rely on.