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Guardian defence & security correspondent endorses book by extremist Jeff Halper

Richard Norton-Taylor is a Guardian defence and security correspondent and until recently was the paper’s security editor. He currently edits the Guardian Defence and Security blog with Ewen MacAskill. Norton-Taylor’s latest post at the blog (‘Spies, resistance and maps: seven books that spill secrets, Jan. 26.) consists of recommended books, including this curious entry:

In War Against The People, Jeff Halper (Pluto Press) chronicles the way Israel applies surveillance technology to monitor the Palestinians. 

Any book by Jeff Halper would seem like an odd choice for the Guardian’s security correspondent for a number of reasons. 

First, he’s a retired lecturer in anthropology, and it’s unclear what his credentials are to critically examine Israeli security policy.

Additionally, he is an extreme anti-Zionist ideologue.  

Halper is the co-founder and former longtime director of the radical NGO, Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD). He supports BDS, defends Palestinian terror, has accused Israel of “genocide” and opposes the continued existence of a Jewish state within any borders.

Here’s the video book trailer by Halper.  

(See part 2 of the video here.)

Especially noteworthy in the video is the convoluted reason given for why Israel doesn’t end the occupation. Halper argues that the West Bank is a “laboratory” where Israel develops weapons and security systems. These techniques for “control and pacification” of masses of marginalized people, he claims, are exported to countries to control their own ‘restive’ populations, what Halper refers to as the “global pacification industry”.

That such pseudo-intellectual radical agitprop was endorsed by the Guardian’s specialist on international security issues represents further evidence of the media group’s continued embrace of the radical left fringe of British opinion.

27 replies »

  1. A similar theory was advanced decades ago when it was suggested that the “Troubles” in the North of Ireland were being prolonged by the security establishment (securocrats) to experiment with different methods of counter insurgency techniques.
    If you plagiarize a faulty theory it is still wrong, no matter how you try to reword it or dress it up.
    A pile of crap smells like a pile of scrap.

  2. Just to be sure, a War Against the People does not include 10,000 Iranian-built missiles shot at school yards and residential communities; propagandists demanding that the youth of their culture sacrifice their lives in stabbings of unarmed citizens and bombings of pizzerias and dance clubs; and “Militias” digging tunnels under internationally recognized borders of sovereign nations in order to infiltrate and kidnap citizens.

    Got it.

        • Does it make you upset that half of my posts actually carry their own weight, making it kind of silly for you to complain about me being a particular troll when really I’m just another person with a computer and an opinion that happens to include the belief that you’re a total joke?

          Yes, John. People who don’t like you, and who think that your left-of-center self-analysis is funny can still defend Israel on websites such as this.

          That must really suck for you.

          • Just the usual pompous, smug, self-important crap from you, then.
            You are the joke. And it certainly doesn’t bother me when a thick joke like you – you are not ‘people’, moron, you are one thick individual – think badly of me. It only vaguely amuses me.

            • Smug and pompous… Coming from a Left of Center man who feels Barack Obama is so gosh darn Liberal, it says a lot about saying nothing at all.

              What can be more amusing than your need for the last word? Well, we’ll soon find out!

  3. Whoa, I didn’t know Jeff Halper was now a security specialist.
    I guess he’s a specialist just like Shlomo Zand is an historian (even though he only studied film history) and like Gilad Atzmon is a specialist on all things Israel because he’s a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who happened to be born to Israeli parents.

    It proves again: If you have an Israeli passport you could make a FINE living simply by writing garbage about Israel. Gideon Levy just got 75000 green ones from the Swedes just for that.

  4. @Adam Levick –

    Richard Norton-Taylor’s list features five “eclectic … even esoteric” books, which, he says, “should not go unnoticed”.

    That’s hardly an “endorsement” of any of them Adam – and particularly not of Halper’s book, since it gets barely three (very short) lines of (purely descriptive) mention and is by far the shortest entry.

    Neither you, nor the sources you link, appear to have actually READ ‘War Against the People’. I haven’t read it either, and so can’t say whether it contains (as the Guardian strapline puts it) “a lot to be learned”. But I did manage to find a useful review @ by Max Ajl.

    OK, he’s a pro-Palestinian activist (collective groans confidently expected, though Ajl is far from uncritical of Halper’s analysis…). But what his review does provide is the very likely reason for the book’s inclusion in a security correspondent’s collection:

    “[Jeff Halper] lists the technologies Israeli produces and incubates in often dizzying detail, describing their military use and the intelligentsia’s descriptions of their strategic potential … This gathering of detail is an impressive labor.”

    So not such an “odd choice” by Norton-Taylor, I suggest – if only because dizzying detail provides lots of scope for spotting gaps and errors and bones to be picked.

    • Halper is a pro-Palestinian activist only in your twisted reality Miranda . He considers every Palestinian who would be ready to make peace a “quisling”, he supports an Arab/Muslim ruled bi-national state acknowledging that no Israeli Jews would accept this – so he advocates genocide. ICAHD is not even an Israeli organization only in its name – financed completely by foreign donations and inciting foreign powers against Israel. He is exactly from your group of clowns – the well known Jewish- Jew haters club.
      BTW according to his Wikipedia profile he has no scholarly works related to anthropology only politics and he is not employed by any academy. He is a political activist of the murderous kind, that the Guardian and you like him is only natural.

      • “[Jeff Halper] lists the technologies Israeli produces and incubates in often dizzying detail, describing their military use and the intelligentsia’s descriptions of their strategic potential … This gathering of detail is an impressive labor.”

        So was the Nazis’ record keeping on the Holocaust. Collecting partial information in order to prove a mistaken point doesn’t make it worth supporting – unless your prejudice is the same as the collector’s.

        • @PDW –

          RE: “Collecting partial information in order to prove a mistaken point doesn’t make it worth supporting.”

          Quite right. But to judge whether or not the information Halper collected on this subject was “partial” and his point “mistaken” I’d have to read his book – which I haven’t. For this reason, I can’t (and didn’t) say I “support” it.

          (NB: Norton-Taylor’s opinion of Halper’s info and arguments also isn’t expressed in the blog Adam critiques, so if it was his “support” you were deploring, I’m not sure what you based this on. Another article, maybe…? I couldn’t find one.)

      • @peterthehungarian –

        Telling me that “Halper is a pro-Palestinian activist only in your twisted reality” is a sure sign of only one thing – your twisted understanding of the English language. It was MAX AJL I was describing, not Jeff Halper.

    • Usually when people complain about the Israeli military, they are oblivious to the need for the military. You and yours seem to believe in the absolute worst about all Israelis who aren’t willing to give up their country (i.e. Zionists) due to your choice of perspective (i.e. bullying Jews over their right to self-determination).

      Miranda baby, all you do is bitch that Israel still exists. Your choice of perspective is that Israel’s existence is some kind of crime. Funny how we’re not allowed to consider this perspective as that of an over the top hate monger dingbat.

      Taking umbrage with the people who always take umbrage seems to be a red line for you.

      • @kofaxmitzvah –

        RE: “…all you do is bitch that Israel still exists … that Israel’s existence is some kind of crime.”

        No, I don’t. As far as I’m concerned, Israel’s EXISTENCE is a fact of life – and I’ve no wish to see those Jews whose home it has become robbed of national identity.

        My only quarrel with Israel is with the STRATEGIES it has adopted to secure that existence – strategies which include systematically defaming, via a highly efficient network of hasbarah websites, anyone who takes serious issue with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as being “advocates of Israel’s existential destruction”.

        • Israelis are being stabbed in the street by crazed teenagers who were trained to hate them by Grown Men in Bunny Suits. Israelis have been bombed by depressed teenagers who were strapped with suicide vests by older enablers. Israelis have had 10,000 missiles (in one summer!) shot at them from Gaza. Israelis have been kidnapped by Hamasniks who have dug tunnels to infiltrate Israeli territory (you know, the Rightful Existence that you now declare as a fact of life….. From the River to the Sea stuff….) You NEVER talk about Arab strategies here.

          So here’s a secret. All Israeli Military Strategies are based COMPLETELY ON the Palestinian NEED to destroy Israel.

          Where have you been? On Uranus?

          It’s quickly coming upon 70 years, Miranda baby. Time to stop dillydallying if you really are seeking Palestinian independence. How about we start with another ISRAELI STRATEGY like those peace deals offered and not even compromised upon?

          In case you didn’t know, COMPROMISE is considered a LOSING STRATEGY by batshit pro-Palestinians.

          This is a fun cycle! You’re so funny! Now, make us peace with your strategy!!!!! Stickers on Sabra humus and labeling pro-Israel Jews as Genocidal Maniacs.

          So, so good….

          • No one treats the Palestinians better than Israel does,Abbas and his goons are a group of corrupt nepotistic murderous gang of kleptomaniacs..How do these people become millionaires and billionaires when they produce nothing,besides babies and bombs.If only they could most of Israel’s Arab neighbors would gladly move to live in this Israeli Apartheid state that treats it’s Arab minority badly.

        • And you’re still bitching about Hasbara! Which is what?

          Online pro-Israel posting???

          Yeah… .That should be illegal.

          SUCH A CRIME as opposed to stabbing pregnant Israelis which, you know, is Resistance.

        • Highly efficient hasbara websites, such as the BBC Guardian Independent NYTimes, SkyNews and so on and on

  5. Sometimes I wonder whether writing anti-Israel articles or endorsing anti-Israel publications is part of every Guardian journalist’s contract. Balance certainly isn’t.

  6. This man Halter, as many others have, has confused the occupation with the conflict itself. To paraphrase him, “it’s so obvious.”

  7. The commissioning editor of the Guardian’s opinion desk is this Bella Mackie who just happens to be Alan Rusbidger’s daughter,she scored this job on merit of course,this woman once actually wrote an article about nepotism.Her next article would have to be.Family values or Nepotism…