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Why Chas loves Israel


The following is an extract from Not In My Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy by Chas Newkey-Burden and Julie Burchill.  

(This chapter was written by Chas Newkey-Burden, who blogs at OyVaGoy)

Chas Newkey-Burden

Chas Newkey-Burden

‘When my father was a little boy in Poland, the streets of Europe were covered with graffiti, “Jews, go back to Palestine,” or sometimes worse: “Dirty Yids, piss off to Palestine.” When my father revisited Europe fifty years later, the walls were covered with new graffiti, “Jews, get out of Palestine.”’  – Israeli author Amos Oz

Everyone knows the proverb of the three wise monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. As shown throughout this book, the modern hypocrite can be very skilled indeed at seeing and hearing no evil. When women are stoned to death in Arab states, when gay men are brutalised in Caribbean countries, the hypocrites’ ability to cover their ears and look the other way is remarkable.

However, the triumvirate cannot be completed for when it comes to the state of Israel the modern hypocrite just cannot stop speaking evil. They will fail to condemn – and sometimes actually support – terrorists who blow up school buses and pizza parlours. They will march hand in hand with people who – quite literally – fundamentally disagree with every basic political principle they claim to hold dear. They will openly question whether Israel even has the right to exist.

And all along the way, they will show themselves to be devastating hypocrites.

The anti-Israel brigade would have us believe that the motivation for this vitriolic hatred of Israel is a genuine, compassionate concern for the fate of the Palestinian people. But do they really care about the Palestinians, or is their compassion somewhat selective, to put it politely? In reality, are they only interested in Palestinian suffering for as long as it gives them an opportunity to bash Israel?

This hypocrisy is not entirely modern. When the West Bank and the Gaza strip were occupied by Jordan and Egypt, those occupations of ‘Palestinian land’ drew not a whimper of protest from the people who spat blood at the ‘occupation’ of those territories by Israel. When Jordan killed thousands of Palestinians and drove just as many of them from their refugee camps into Lebanon, Israel-bashers saw nothing wrong with that at all. Neither did they take issue with Kuwait when it deported Palestinians in the aftermath of the 1991 Iraq war. Why were they silent in all these cases? Because none of them gave them a chance to bash Israel, of course.

Well established as this hypocrisy is, in the 21st century it has well and truly taken root as ‘supporting’ the Palestinians had become achingly fashionable. So when Hamas-sparked violence led to Palestinian students at a West Bank university being brutally beaten and shot by their own people, the Westerners who claim to support the Palestinians raised not a single word of protest or concern. Likewise, when Palestinian women are stabbed to death in “honour killings” across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, no anti-Israel Westerners lose a single moment’s sleep on their behalf.

Likewise, when Palestinian children are hospitalised after being caught in the crossfire of fighting between rival Palestinian factions, there is not a word of condemnation from the West. When Palestinian children are deliberately forced into the line of fire by their own people, where is the concern from those in the West who claim to be their biggest supporters? When terrorists are found to be hiding hand grenades in the cradles where Palestinian babies sleep, where is the outrage?

If Israel is accused of torturing Palestinian terror suspects, the hypocrite is indignantly up-in-arms in protest without establishing a single fact but when Palestinians suspected of collaborating are proven to be brutally tortured – sometimes to death – by members of Islamic Jihad, again the silence is deafening.

Similarly, if these people are truly concerned about the Palestinians, then where are their words of praise for Israel when it flings open its hospital doors to them? Just one example: in May 2007 an eight-day-old baby from the Gaza Strip that was suffering with congenital heart complications was treated in a hospital in Israel. An Israeli Magen David Adom ambulance drove into the Gaza Strip, dodging Qassam rockets that were headed for Israel and collected the child for treatment at the Sheba Medical Center in Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Such cases are far from rare. But I’ve never heard a word of praise for these treatments from any of those in the West who claim to be concerned over the fate of the Palestinians.

It’s the same with the refugee question. The heartbreak that the hypocrite feels for Palestinian refugees is only expressed in the context of slamming Israel. When it’s pointed out to them that the Arab world has done precious little to help the refugees, their interest dwindles. And what of the hundreds and thousands of Jewish refugees who were deported from Arab states? They’ve never received any compensation – as Palestinian refugees have from Israel – and no Westerner has ever cried them self to sleep on their behalf.

Any action taken by Israel to deal with Palestinian terrorists is met with abuse and distortion. The case of Jenin was typical. Following scores of suicide bombings organised from within the Jenin refugee camp, Israel entered the camp in search of the terrorists. As the fighting ended the media leapt into action to demonise Israel’s action. The Guardian described Israel’s actions as “every bit as repellent” as the 9/11 attacks. The Evening Standard cried: “We are talking here of massacre, and a cover-up, of genocide.” The Independent spoke of a “war crime” and The Times claimed there were “mass graves”. The head of the United Nations Refugee Agency was quickly out of the traps to describe the affair as a “human rights catastrophe that has few parallels in recent history”. The EU was nor far behind in its condemnation.

Let’s examine the facts of this massacre, this genocide. In total 75 people died at Jenin. 23 of these were Israeli soldiers and 52 were Palestinians, almost all of them combatants. By even the most hysterical, loaded standards of language this does not constitute genocide, nor anything of the sort. Indeed, the Palestinian death toll would have been much higher – and the Israeli death toll non-existent – had Israel simply bombed the camp from the air. Instead, to avoid civilian casualties, Israel put their own soldiers at risk, sending them in on foot to search through booby-trapped homes.

When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon next visited Israeli troops, one of them asked him: “Why didn’t we bomb the terrorists from the air? That operation cost the lives of more than 20 of our comrades!” Sharon replied: “That is the painful and inevitable price that those who refuse to abandon their humanity have to pay.” In return for paying the painful price of eschewing air attacks, Sharon and the brave Israeli soldiers who entered a terrorist camp on foot were accused of genocide and massacre and spoken of in the same terms as the 9/11 terrorists.

However, the hypocrisy doesn’t end there. In 2007, another Palestinian camp, which had become swamped with suicide bombers, was attacked. This time, the gloves came off. The camp was surrounded by tanks and artillery that fired indiscriminately at the inhabitants. Snipers backed up this fire. The camp’s water and electricity supplies were cut off. Thousands of innocent Palestinians were forced to flee but not before at least 18 had been killed and dozens injured. The camp itself was reduced to rubble. Ultimately, the fighting killed more than 300 people and forced nearly 40,000 Palestinian refugees to flee.

This time, there was next to no coverage in the British media. There was no talk of genocide or massacre. Rather than condemning the attack, the EU and UN were quick to express their support to the army. Even the Arab League came out in support. So what had changed? You guessed it, this time the army dealing with the camp was not the Israeli army but the Lebanese army. How terrifyingly revealing this is of the hypocrisy of those who claim to care about fate of the Palestinians.

During the fighting, tanks and artillery had also fired at residential areas of Lebanon and civilians were inevitably caught in the crossfire. Just months earlier, the anti-war brigade has been marching through the streets of London to express their concern for the people of Lebanon who were caught in the crossfire of Israel’s fighting with Hezbollah. Strangely, the marchers couldn’t get off their self-righteous backsides when Lebanese civilians were being shot at by Islamic groups: this time, the people of Lebanon could go to hell as far as they were concerned.

How different it had been in the summer of 2006. “We are all Hezbollah now,” the modern hypocrites had chanted as they marched in fury against Israel’s latest battle for survival, as the rockets of that terror group were raining down on its cities and kibbutzim. If “Not In My Name” was an embarrassing slogan, then “We are all Hezbollah now” was little short of insane. How could these marchers, who say they oppose misogyny, tyranny, homophobia and genocide, march in support of an organisation which fanatically and brutally promotes all those things? Because they’re hypocrites, of course, and because their frenzied hatred of Israel has utterly stupefied them. It was embarrassing for them, therefore, when Hezbollah’s leader Hasan Nasrallah told them: “We don’t want anything from you. We just want to eliminate you.” As Martin Amis neatly put it, these demonstrators were “up the arse of the people that want them dead”.

But what were they doing up there? Many no doubt believed that during the war they were backing the little guy of Hezbollah against the big guy of Israel. The truth was somewhat different, though. Hezbollah was no little guy, it was backed by millions of pounds of Iranian and Syrian money. Neither were the two sides of the conflict as clear-cut as they believed. The Israeli Arabs of Haifa spent much of the summer sitting in bunkers to avoid being killed by Hezbollah rockets. Many of these Arabs cheered on the Israeli army throughout the campaign.

Similarly, Ethiopian Jews who Israel had previously bravely airlifted from oppression and starvation were particularly badly hit in Tiberias. How incredible that back in England, many of the groups whose members wear white Make Poverty History wristbands and campaign on Third World debt were willing to cheer as Ethiopians were bombed by Hezbollah.

So no, Israel was not necessarily the Goliath of the conflict. How could a nation the size of Wales, surrounded by millions who want it wiped off the map be a Goliath? However, the courage shown by its soldiers was immense. Lt Colonel Roe Klein was marching at the head of a unit of troops when a Hezbollah man threw a hand grenade at them. Lt Klein jumped on top of the grenade to save his troops, losing his life in the process. Meanwhile, Hezbollah were employing the standard cowardly tactic of hiding among women and children, with wheelchair-bound people a particular favourite.

Throughout Israel, the population showed itself to be as brave and humanitarian as ever. Newspapers were full of classified advertisements in which families offered to house those from the north of the country who were under Hezbollah fire. Ultra-Orthodox Jews took in secular Jews, people living in small flats flung open their doors to large families with pets. The blitz spirit also saw youngsters from the big cities like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv organise treats for Arab children from Galilee. The government arranged for celebrities to visit the bunker-ridden population of the north and even flew in a gay porn star to cheer up gay Israeli troops. As Hezbollah’s rockets rained down over northern Israel, weddings in the region had to be cancelled. So cinema producer Eliman Bardugo organised for those affected to have the chance to be married en masse on the beach in Tel Aviv. Some 50 couples took him up on the offer.

Meanwhile, in London, left-wing people took to the streets to cheer on Hezbollah as it butchered Israeli people. As, for instance, a Hezbollah rocket hit a kibbutz and killed 12 people including an ultra-orthodox Jew who was sitting next to a hippy with pierced ears. The more of these incidents happened, the further the marchers climbed up the arses of the people who wanted them dead.

It would have been familiar territory for many of them. When I went to see the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie in London’s West End, I had sat in an audience littered with white English men and women wearing keffiyeh scarves and some wearing Hamas badges. I see these people – and the marching Hezbollah-wannabes – as terror groupies, a sort of left-wing equivalent of the little boys who play army in playgrounds across England. But these are adults so they really should know better.

I’m not sure the terror groupies look the other way on the topic of Palestinian terrorism. They seem – sorry to say – almost turned-on by it. You surely can’t, after all, overlook something as big as the blowing up of buses or pizza parlours. There is no ‘bigger picture’ regarding people who do that. And why would you appropriate the uniform of the man who backed all that terrorism unless you actively had, well, a bit of a thing for him? For much of the audience, the play about Rachel Corrie must have been a gleefully pornographic experience. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but sometimes a picture can be worth far more than that. There are more than a thousand words in the play, about Corrie, the young US activist who accidentally died during an anti-Israel protest in Gaza in 2003. But none of them shed light on the now-canonised Corrie as much as a photograph taken of her by the Associated Press a month before her death. She was snapped burning an American flag and whipping up the crowd at a pro-Hamas rally.

Naturally, there is no mention of this photograph in the play. Neither is it mentioned that thanks in part to demonstrations of the International Solidarity Movement with who Corrie travelled to the Middle East, the Israel Defence Force was prevented from blocking the passage of weapons which were later shown to have been used to kill Israeli children in southern Israel.

Instead, the play is full of naïve anti-Israel propaganda from the mouth of Corrie. “The vast majority of Palestinians right now, as far as I can tell, are engaging in Gandhian non-violent resistance,” she wrote in 2003 as Palestinian suicide bombs were slaughtering Israelis. Lest we forget who the real star of the story is, towards the end of the play Corrie writes: “When I come back from Palestine I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work.” We’re back in self-indulgence territory, aren’t we? Not in my name. My name is Rachel Corrie. We’re all Hezbollah now. Thousands are dying but it’s all about me. The hypocrisy of the audience was depressing. I wonder if any of were even aware that Hamas had danced over Corrie’s grave when she died? To the Palestinians, a dead young American girl was a wonderful publicity coup. Had any of the audience travelled to the Middle East in a Corriesque trip of self-indulgence, the Palestinians would have crossed their fingers in the hope they too died.

As I say, the modern hypocrite is delighted to overlook misogyny, homophobia and brutal clampdowns on all manner of person freedoms in Arab states and the other side of this coin of hypocritical currency is the way they simultaneously overlook the extraordinarily positive record Israel has on such issues. Take the case of Golda Meir, Israel’s first female Prime Minister who took the top job in 1969, just 21 years into the country’s existence and a full decade before England had our first female Prime Minister. In some Arab states, women are not allowed to go to school. In Israel they can become the most powerful person in the country.

Meir herself was well aware of this spectacular contrast. In 1948, when she was a negotiator with the Jewish Agency, she set off on a secret mission to meet King Abdullah of Transjordan. The meeting was secret so she travelled with the Agency’s Arab expert Ezra Danin and posed as his wife. She recalled: “I would travel in the traditional dark and voluminous robes of an Arab woman. I spoke no Arabic at all but as a Moslem wife accompanying her husband it was most unlikely that I would be called upon to say anything to anyone.” How hypocritical it is of those left-wingers in the West that they can hate a country with tales such as these throughout its history.

It’s just the same with gay issues. Left-wingers who say they passionately believe in gay rights manage to put that passion aside when it comes to their view of the only country in the Middle East with a positive record on the issue. A wonderfully positive record, in fact. In 2006, within days of the country’s fighting with Hezbollah ending, I flew to Israel to research a feature on gay life in the Holy Land. Before leaving, I’d been warned by anti-Israel Westerners to expect to find a very homophobic country. Had any of them bothered to visit Israel, they’d have discovered it’s nothing of the sort. Workplace discrimination against gay people is outlawed; the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) has openly gay members; in schools, teenagers learn about the difficulties of being gay and the importance of treating all sexualities equally. The Israel Defence Force has dozens of openly gay officers who, like all gay soldiers in its ranks, are treated equally by order of the government.

The Supreme Court has ruled that gay couples are eligible for spousal and widower benefits. The country has gay football teams. Most mainstream television dramas in Israel regularly feature gay storylines. When transsexual Dana International won the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest as Israel’s representative, 80 per cent of polled Israelis called her “an appropriate representative of Israel”.

These facts are there for all to see but it is only on visiting Israel that you discover how happily the different sections of the society coexist. I interviewed a gay Israeli man on Tel Aviv’s “Hilton beach” – it is opposite the Hilton hotel – which is also known as the “gay beach”, where men openly check each other out and pick each other up. It is neighboured by the city’s religious beach which has separate bathing days for men and women. And all this is just yards from Tel Aviv’s Independence Park, which is the main gay cruising area in Tel Aviv. The cruising park in Jerusalem has the same name.

Elsewhere in Tel Aviv is the House of Freedom. Opened in the late 1990s, this is a shelter for gay, lesbian and transgender youngsters between the ages of 12 and 18 who have been thrown out of home after coming out to their parents. At the House they are counselled by social workers who then visit the parents and attempt to bring about reconciliation. Those attempts are often successful, each year hundreds of gay youngsters return to a better home thanks to this remarkable institution.

And everywhere you go in the city, gay men walk hand in hand more openly that they even would in London’s Soho. It is staggering that Western left-wingers who claim to believe in gay rights can be so furiously opposed to tolerant Israel. The tolerance is not confined to Tel Aviv, either. When some in Jerusalem opposed the staging of the gay pride parade in the capital in 2007, the media presented a city on the brink of civil war. I happened to be in Jerusalem that week – though I didn’t attend the parade – and I witnessed no unrest. Perhaps the strongest opposition I witnessed to the parade came from a taxi driver. I asked him what he thought about the parade and he sighed deeply before saying: “Oh it was terrible for the traffic.” He was right, too!

By hating Israel, the pro-gay-rights left are not just proving to be hypocritical, they are also endangering the one hope that gay Palestinians have. The leading gay rights organisation in Israel organises Arabic gay evenings where gay Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza strip are invited to come and party with Israelis – and many take up the invitation. “We are their only hope,” says one of the organisers. “If they came out where they live, they would be killed but they can come and party with us in Israel.” As has been documented by human rights groups, gay Palestinians are routinely tortured and murdered by their own people. They often flee to the safety of Israel.

The attraction that Israel should hold for believers in the rainbow alliance doesn’t end with its record on women and gay men. I remember on a road trip from the Dead Sea to Tel Aviv marvelling at a quartet of an ultra-orthodox Jew, an Arab, a uniformed Israeli soldier and a mini-skirt wearing girl in her late teens all engaging in friendly chit-chat as they waited for some traffic lights to change. Such sights are far from uncommon as Israel is home to one of the planet’s most diverse people: dreadlocked Ethiopians, and their fellow Africans from Yemen, Egypt and Morocco exist alongside people from Iraq, Iran, Russian and Latin America. Then there are Asians from the Far East and Israeli Arabs, the latter group enjoying more personal freedoms in Israel than they would in any Arab state.

My experiences in Israel might seem surprising to the reader who hasn’t been there – particularly given the predominance of reports casting the country as a villainous, apartheid state. There exists a peculiar unwillingness to accept good news from Israel, which contrasts with the way that paradigm-shifting reports on ‘The hidden modernity of Tehran’ are welcomed with open arms. When I attempted to include the scene that I had witnessed at the traffic lights in a magazine feature I wrote about the research trip to Israel, I had to go through an exasperating discussion with the commissioning editor. He didn’t seem to know that Israeli Arabs exist and insisted that the scene I described couldn’t have occurred. He’d never been to Israel but was quite sure that he was right and I was wrong.

He was in good company in his blissful ignorance. Within hours of my return from the trip, I received a call from a journalist acquaintance who asked me with genuine shock: “What’s all this about you going to Israel?” He said that a mutual journalist acquaintance of ours was “absolutely disgusted” with me for going there and that he hoped I was “going to put the boot in” when I wrote my articles. These were not close acquaintances, I hadn’t even spoken to one of them for nearly nine years and it must have taken them some digging around to find my new telephone number. They obviously thought it was worth the trouble to have a dig at a writer who was friendly to Israel. Apparently the “absolutely disgusted” man – a weekly columnist on a high-profile magazine – has since tried to get an article published that claims that Tony Blair murdered Yasser Arafat.

The editor of another magazine once told me I was not allowed to write that Yasser Arafat turned down Ehud Barak’s offer at Camp David in 2000. I asked why and he replied “because of a need for balance.” I pointed out that nobody, including Arafat, has ever disputed that he rejected Barak’s offer and the editor replied: “Well, I don’t know about that but you still can’t write it.” The article in question was an “opinion” piece and taking sides was the order of the day each week in that column. Not if the article was about Israel, it seemed. Get this for hypocrisy, though: the same magazine had happily published articles accusing Israel of “war crimes” and carried advertising accusing Israel of apartheid policies. Clearly, the need for balance is relative.

Not that there was much balance in the motion the National Union Of Journalists passed in 2007 to boycott Israel. As a writer I felt shame and despair at this motion. Those emotions of shame and despair were not joined by shock, though, because much of the British media has long been absorbed by a blind hatred of Israel.

Broadsheet newspapers print editorials that are so biased and distorted that Osama Bin Laden would probably blush at them and say: “Steady on! We can’t print that!” The BBC refuses to describe suicide bombers who blow up buses full of Israeli schoolchildren as “terrorists” even though it has used that term to describe bombers in London, Iraq and Indonesia. One of its correspondents told a Hamas rally that he and his colleagues were “waging the campaign shoulder-to-shoulder with the Palestinian people”.

Why did the NUJ choose Israel for a boycott? The country has an entirely free press. If the NUJ wanted to boycott a country, then Russia, China, Zimbabwe and Pakistan would have been more sensible options, given their record on press freedom. The timing, too, was ridiculous. Shortly before the motion was passed, BBC journalist Alan Johnston was kidnapped by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. So why did the NUJ respond to this by boycotting Israel?

The coverage of the Alan Johnston case was riddled with hypocrisy. Every day, the BBC devoted acres of space to the story. Yet the BBC largely ignored the plight of young Israeli soldiers who were kidnapped by Palestinians. Indeed, the BBC refuses to even use the term “kidnap” in relation to the snatching of teenager Corporal Gilad Shalit, preferring to say he was “captured”. I was in Israel during Johnston’s captivity and had a conversation about his case with an Arab from the West Bank. He said: “I’m surprised that they took someone from the BBC. Everyone knows the BBC is totally biased for the Palestinians. I bet they’re not so for the Palestinians now, though!” When I told him that the BBC was just as pro-Palestinian as ever, he raised his eyes to the heavens. “That’s strange,” he said.

True. But then Auntie Beeb has long shown its true colours on the conflict. A 2007 a leaked internal BBC memo written by Bowen blamed Israel for all the woes of the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that Israel had withdrawn two years earlier from Gaza!

Hmm, what we need is a man who can effortlessly show these BBC buffoons just how hypocritical they are. Step forward and take a bow Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister of Israel and all-round hero of both myself and my co-author. He was interviewed on the BBC during the 2006 Hezbollah conflict and made mince meat of his quizzer:

Interviewer: “How come so many more Lebanese have been killed in this conflict than Israelis?”

Netanyahu: “Are you sure that you want to start asking in that direction?”

Interviewer: “Why not?”

Netanyahu: “Because in World War II more Germans were killed than British and Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the war was caused by Germany’s aggression. And in response to the German blitz on London, the British wiped out the entire city of Dresden, burning to death more German civilians than the number of people killed in Hiroshima.

“Moreover, I could remind you that in 1944, when the RAF tried to bomb the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen, some of the bombs missed their target and fell on a Danish children’s hospital, killing 83 little children.

“Perhaps you have another question?”

Perhaps indeed! Perhaps the academics who chose to boycott Israel at the same time as the NUJ might have asked themselves some questions too. In 2007, they voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions in a protest supposedly on behalf of the Palestinians. Meanwhile, back in the real world a young Jordanian-Palestinian woman, was graduating with a Master’s degree from Ben Gurion University in Israel. Dana Rassas was trained by the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in the Negev, and then went on to study the Israeli water desalination program at the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies at Ben Gurion University. As a result of her studies in Israel, Rassas is now helping to solve Jordan’s water problems. If they boycotters had their way, she’d never have had any of these chances.

To take a wider view, why is it that so many people who cling to the notion of human rights when considering the plight of the Palestinians couldn’t give a hoot about other groups around the world like the Tibetans, the Kurds, the Armenians and the Chechens? Is it because these groups didn’t have the fortune of being in dispute with Jewish people? Either way, it is indisputable that the incessant focus of the human rights movement on the actions of Israel has allowed genuinely horrific human rights abuses in other parts of the world to go unnoticed.

As we keep seeing, whatever it does Israel cannot win and so we end up returning to the graffiti seen by Amos Oz’s father in Poland. First: go back to Palestine, then: get out of Palestine. antisemitism has always been dominated by contradictions. The Jews have been attacked for being both communist schemers and capitalists plotting to take over the world. They can’t stop sticking their noses into others’ business yet they also must be attacked for keeping themselves to themselves. They were taunted for being too weak when the Germans tried to eliminate them from the face of the earth and are now slammed for being too strong when the Arabs try the same trick.

Ironically, for all the attention and criticism that Western hypocrites throw at Israel, the biggest questioners of the state and its actions are Israelis themselves. Israel’s Supreme Court is a thorn in the side of the government and army and frequently overrules both. It regularly examines petitions brought by Palestinian people and rules in their favour. Many of its judgements have restricted the options open to the army and in passing them, the Court has acknowledged that its rulings will cause Israeli loss of life but insisted that such steps are needed in the interests of humanity.

When terrorist leaders who have arranged the slaughter of Israeli people are killed by the Israel Defence Force, there is no cheering in the street as is seen among Palestinians when another school bus is blown up by a suicide bomber, a favourite tactic of there’s as seen in November 2000. Instead, commissions of inquiry are set up to examine whether the elimination of these men who wanted to blow murder their children was ethical and correct. On and on it goes, this relentless self-examination by a country that has faced abuse, distortion and calls for its destruction since the very minute it was established in 1948.

But then that’s the thing about Israel: strong, plucky, moral, deeply self-critical yet determinedly happy and upbeat, it is everything the modern hypocrite is not. I love it.

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48 replies »

  1. Eloquent, Chas, and I like the fact that you avoid becoming hysterical – the light touch is more effective; in fact, I would go even further, and suggest that you would strengthen your case by conceding that Israel is not perfect in many ways ………..

    • “strengthen your case by conceding that Israel is not perfect in many ways ………..”

      Pardon me for disagreeing, but I don’t think that’s needed.

      • It is everything. The lack of careful criticism of Israel by her supporters renders even moderate articles like this meaningless. It can be a very powerful thing to start with measured self criticism and the lack of it shows a simplistic and defensive hand.

        • The lack of careful criticism of the “Palestinian cause” by its supporters renders even moderate articles like this meaningless. It can be a very powerful thing to start with measured self criticism and the lack of it shows a simplistic and defensive hand.
          Light years closer to the truth.

  2. I will never forget a press conference by Amnesty at the FPA following the Jenin ‘massacre’, at which they proved the genocide of a whole village. I have to say that it was difficult not to be persuaded by the evidence of Amnesty’s doctors that the extremely low numbers of Arab casualties was proof positive that survivors were executed on the spot by Israeli soldiers. How can one not believe an organisation with Amnesty’s credentials? Months later, when the UN investigators declared that the true level of Arab fatalities was actually 52, guess where the Guardian published the retraction of it’s earlier screaming front-page coverage? No prizes for correct guess

    • the Jenin ‘massacre’,

      52 dead ??? The much more famous Glencoe massacre only had 39 dead. It was hardly Horatio on the bridge was it ?

  3. OyVaHypocrisy! from the one who wrote this:

    The ugly, OTT boasting Israel is doing across social networks today is ill-judged. It plays well to those already onside (albeit it makes some of them a touch puffed-up and self-righteous!), but for the general public it plays very badly.

      • …..And if you TRULY take a look, there were many people taken aback by the supposedly Israel-supporting OyVaGoy.

        But, please, continue to be a fan-boi/gurl for the rat-faced OVG.

        • ‘Mo’ if you object to something that someone has written then put forward your case why it is wrong. To attack someone for what they have said, written, or done is part of debate.
          But to attack someone on the basis of their looks, e.g. “the rat-faced OVG”, has no place in debate, if anything it undermines your own case.
          To attack someone because they are ugly is as unacceptable as attacking someone for the colour of their skin.

            • LOL! Note to self: Don’t get the DIscount Fan-Boi Pack from the same Fan-Bois-R-Us that “Rat Face” OVG buys from, ever.

              Things like this self-congratulatory article – and OVG’s relentless, toe-curling boasting about his “efforts” on part of Israel – really damages his reputation in the eyes of day-to-day people. (I realise for cultic fan-bois like Gerald and koufaxmitzvah it all plays very well.)

              I can just hear the “Oh, Chas, love me, LOVE ME!” squeals from koufaxmitzvah especially loud; must be one of those emotionally needy types…….LOLOLOLOLOL!

              • I actually don’t know the fella. Which, I think, is interesting since my comment was to Gerald about you.

                But, yes, deflect with some homo-erotic response. That’s right up your crack alley.

                • “homo-erotic response …crack ..”

                  I often disagree with this site but respect many of the posts and posters. I have noted many occasions when you try to inject a sexualised slant on posts and feel you have no idea how this lowers the overall tone of the site.

                  This is the leading site that can affect the Guardian and her hilariously ignorant concentration on the violence of the IDF whilst ignoring indeed encouraging British military violence. You are not helping. In fact Mo above is easy to attack for using the term ” rat ” ..this is a spectacular own goal yet you miss it.

                • Lemme help you out, Housey. Crack doesn’t just mean Ass, but also a highly addictive form of cocaine that one smokes to get high. A crack alley isn’t, as you might think, an alley of asses, but rather an alley in a deprived neighborhood where one can buy crack.

                  So this is pretty much a reminder of how you’re really not that smart. And since you’re not that smart, I’ll take the moment to remind your discussions of Israel, which follow simpleminded memes and avoid all context, and are done primarily to play some moralist card with those who support Israel, really brings not just this site down, but the entire world who considers the Israel-Arab situation as the Be-All-End-All of diplomacy.

                  In other words, not only are you an obtuse idiot, but a drama queen.

              • This fan of rats obviously is a complete idiot. Get him a doctor before he takes to the streets endangering working people.

    • So who is this OyVesMir, The Cat Drank Beer…?
      An anti-Israel troll and troublemaker?

      Why did so many people support that post? Is there really that much resentment towards Chas? What did he do to offend?

  4. Chas, your passionate support for Israel and your fierce and principled opposition to antisemitism is an inspiration. Shabbat Shalom. .

  5. There’s a lot of anger in that essay, Chas. But it’s good anger, understandable anger.

    I’m not sure the terror groupies look the other way on the topic of Palestinian terrorism. They seem – sorry to say – almost turned-on by it.

    Indeed – and I can think of a couple of high-profile specimens featured previously on this website.

  6. Chas,
    Please clean up the typos, and Yemen is not in Africa. Now, that I’m done criticizing, I’ll tell you that that was one fantastic piece! Your writing is superb! Absolutely engrossing, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Thank you, and please keep it up. You’re a good man in a sea of hypocrites.

  7. Stop me if this has been covered before but Ban KI-moon’s speech on visiting Auschwitz a few days ago hasn’t made much of a ripple as far as I can tell. Here’s the part that had me gaping in astonishment at the TV:

    “Even today, the fire smoulders. Anti-Semitism retains its hold in too many places. In Europe and elsewhere, migrants, Muslims [my emphasis], Roma and other minorities face rising discrimination — and find too few defenders.”

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2013/11/un-secretary-general-visits-auschwitz-complains-of-rising-discrimination-against-muslims.html

    So here’s the head of the UN paying lip-service to the evil of anti-Semitism while in the same breath trying to minimise that evil by pretending that Muslims are suffering something similar – and demonstrating the stranglehold that Muslim countries have on the circus that the UN has become.

    (Sorry, I realise that this is off topic but I have no doubt that his vile propaganda struck a chord with the average Guardian reader – who is often fed the same rubbish by the alleged journalists who write for the rag.)

    • Ban Ki-moon also said:
      “Nothing can truly prepare one for this epicenter of evil, where systematic murder unique in human history reached its atrocious climax … The world must never forget, deny or downplay the Holocaust. We will stand in eternal solidarity with the survivors and safeguard their testimony so their legacy will never die.”

      You call that “paying lip-service to the evil of anti-Semitism”?

      And how does mentioning modern-day bigotry mean he is “trying to minimise that evil by pretending that Muslims are suffering something similar”?

      Perhaps you’d like to correct your accusations.

  8. The Israeli Arabs of Haifa spent much of the summer sitting in bunkers to avoid being killed by Hezbollah rockets. Many of these Arabs cheered on the Israeli army throughout the campaign.

    I recall that Israeli Arabs were killed by Hezbollah’s Katyushas. When the community reacted with fury, Hezbollah tried to placate them, advising them to seek shelter since the terrorist group only wanted to kill Jews.

  9. The problem they don’t care that they are hypocrites. They know they are. It doesn’t matter if you point it out to their face. Hate and bigotry are not rational. Europeans are simply proving that nothing has changed in the last 70 years in their feelings towards Jews.

          • All of Europe – they have never changed in their attempts at genocide

            i.e. over 300 million people including myself, Chas and Gerald? Or indeed peterthehungarian? (although, of course, peter himself bizarrely suggested as much recently)

            You’re off your rocker, matey

    • “The problem they don’t care that they are hypocrites. They know they are.”
      Actually, many of them don’t have even the slightest clue.

    • Europeans are simply proving that nothing has changed in the last 70 years in their feelings towards Jews.

      What a ridiculous statement.

      • Chas, I love this article because it is angry. It sets the agenda and attacks the haters for what they really are. Like the great Guru Nanak said, hypocrisy needs to be confronted because it is the enemy of truth and justice. The contemporary European anti-Zionist, just like their anti-Semitic forefathers, are the enemies of truth and justice; hateful, arrogant and self-absorbed, Israel / Jews are nothing more than a convenient canvass on which to project their ignorance and bigotry. You have pointed this out with eloquence and passion. This is one for a wider audience. First on my list to read it is my Nigerian partner, who certainly, is not as ‘obsessed’ with the ‘Jewish / Israel’ question as I am, but has been to Israel several times and will recognise the picture that you describe.

      • Europeans are simply proving that nothing has changed in the last 70 years in their feelings towards Jews.

        “What a ridiculous statement.”

        Not really. The obsessive Israel bashing coming from Europe is one indication that anti-Semitism is a major problem in Europe. Granted that not all Israel bashers are anti-Semitic, there is still more than enough evidence of a virulent and growing anti-Semitic wave in Europe, fuelled by the burgeoning Muslim population and the unholy alliance of the European far left with radical Islam.

        • Granted that not all Israel bashers are anti-Semitic

          Indeed – and not all Europeans are Israel bashers.

          Contrary to what the likes of Dave would have people believe, this is not 1933 all over again.

  10. Is it not time that we the Jews and Israel cease to be concerned about what the so called civilised world think and do when it comes to ISRAEL – It does not help it did not help for the last 2000 years – Let those who own the press – let those who profess to be great professors and scientists let those who get drunk in the pubs let those who preach on the pulpit or in some board rooms be totally ignored because they are (to be kind) rattle snakes and let us carry on with our objective and remain true to our own principals.

  11. I agree in principle with your sentiments but the problem is it’s impossible to ignore the media, such as the Guardian and the BBC, as their agenda is to pump out as much anti-Israel propaganda as possible, while attempting to disguise it as impartial journalism.

    These ‘journalists’ wield tremendous power to influence public opinion and we ignore them at our peril. They need to be continually exposed for the propagandists they are and this is where the Internet is such a valuable resource. In the old days an ordinary member of the public could not do much more than write a letter of complaint to the media concerned or to some press ombudsman. More often than not, the complaint would not be published.

    These days the propagandists’ sins of omission and commission can be exposed in minutes on the Internet and the challenges to their propaganda can reach as many people as are prepared to Google the issue in question. Even the most narrow-minded pusher of propaganda working for a ‘news’ organisation likes to think of himself/herself as informed and professional. If their propaganda is continually exposed as such, that will at least have the potential effect of forcing them to rein it in a bit and possibly even become a bit more balanced.

    And that can only be a good thing.

  12. Dear Chas,
    Do you know that the largest mosque in Gaza was a synagogue less than a hundred years ago? Did you know that a hundred and fifty years ago, most of Gaza’s population was Jews and Christians? The Jewish population in Gaza ended with the pogrom of 1928. The last Christian murdered three years ago after Hamas came to power.
    To understand the present we need to learn about the past. That is why this information is for people who think and are not afraid to ask hard questions.
    I made a short presentation on two UN organizations dealing with refugees. UNHCR organization caring for refugees from around the world.
    And UNRWA organization who cares for Arab refugees who fought against the Jewish state – Israel.

    Here is also a page of the changes made to UNRWA’s refugee definition in recent years
    http://www.art-gallery-yona.com/Refugees-Definition.html
    Please read this short article and visit all the links to get more information..
    http://www.art-gallery-yona.com/demogra-eng.html

    And this article.
    https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AWXYV56qlacKZGdwYzRoYzlfMTg1aG1ndmtzZnc&hl=en
    And also the Interior Minister of Hamas indicates that the historical facts which I present are true.

    If so, what are the real causes of the Arab war against Israel?
    Here’s a real explanation from the mouths of imams in mosques.

    It is very important to know that Branding the Jews and their state Israel as “occupiers”, gives Arab the legitimacy to remove the occupier in any way they choose, including terrorism against civilians. Therefore they insist to preserve and to leverage this branding. But anyone who is interested in reaching a peace must be recruited for switching it off.
    And here you have a person who explains it the best way.

    And also Sheikh Palazzi

    If you have any questions, I’d love to answer you.