Sunday, March 22, 2015

The hypocrisy of Obama: when words matter


This is covered in depth at Israel Matzav.

There is a useful (but far from 'complete' as claimed) log of Obama's anti-Israel activities here.

Update: Great article by Daniel Greenfield.

Some previous relevant graphics:


Obama has Israel's back, Jan 2015

The Iran nuclear deal in leaked, 9 March 2015

The ongoing world war against the Jews, 19 Jan 2015

Obama's hypocrisy over civilian deaths

Obama's love affair with Palestinian terrorists, 2014

Obama: The future must not belong to those who insult Islam, 2013


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Haaretz bitter post-election coverage


Look at the titles of all five articles on the Haaretz newspaper website this morning (screenshot taken at 11.19am). And there are people who still claim that Haaretz is not an anti-Zionist paper.....

p.s. to Haaretz: if Israel is the racist apartheid state that every one of your journalists claims it to be, how comes the Arab List became the third biggest party in parliament?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Whose idea was it to have an anti-Zionist and a Muslim Brotherhood supporter put Israel's case to the Cambridge Union?

Jewish Chronicle, 13 March 2015: Note the words of student Alex Davis
Last week Cambridge University Union debated the motion "Israel is a rogue state". The motion passed easily (51% voted in favour, 19% against, and 30% abstained).That is both astonishing and depressing to Israel supporters. Of even more concern is the fact that, while the main speaker for the motion was the very experienced and obsessive anti-Israel propagandist Norman Finkelstein, the Israel 'case' was made by two people whose 'support' for Israel is at the very best ambivalent:
  1. Hannah Weisfeld, the leader of the anti-Zionist Yachad - which is still trying to con British Jews into thinking it is pro-Israel, even though all the evidence suggests that they fully support the motion that their leader was supposed to be arguing against.
  2. Vivien Wineman, the useless and discredited Chairman of the Board of Deputies who has devoted his leadership of the Board to developing ties with the Muslim Council of Britain (which is the official Muslim Brotherhood organisation in the UK) and to stopping pro-Israel speakers from coming to the UK.
It's a bit like choosing a Dalek and a Cyberman to make a toast to Doctor Who. And irrespective  of their views, Weisfeld and Wineman are also both appalling speakers as anybody who has had the misfortune to hear them will know. It is difficult to imagine a more striking example of how the so-called Jewish leadership in the UK is failing the vast majority of British Jews; unlike Weisfeld and Wineman they are strong supporters of Israel and know that failure to properly support Israel (and counter the propaganda lies against it) is fuelling the rise in antisemitism.

I really would like to know how either of these goons got selected to make the case for Israel. Was it the Cambridge University Jewish Society? Did nobody raise any concerns? The result of the debate (which interestingly was a complete reversal of a similar motion in 2010) shows what a bad decision it was. But don't take it from me. In the words of history student Alex Davis* who was there:
"Many Cambridge students felt frustrated by the inability of some of the speakers to argue effectively in defence of Israel"

These are desperate times for British Jewry. Wherever you look for leadership and support (the Board, the JLC, UJIA, and both Jewish newspapers) there is an increasing dominance by a small unrepresentative clique who are eager to throw Israel under the bus and appease her enemies. Even BICOM is not immune to this, while the ZF continues to be timid and reactive, rather than strong and proactive.

*Alex Davis has since written an article for the JC about the meeting - see comments on this article. I was certainly not impressed

See also:



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Another update to the story of Southampton University's anti-Semitic hatefest



As previously reported, the University of Southampton is funding a three-day event in April devoted to searching for ways to use international law to deny the world’s only Jewish state the right to exist (the ZF has a petition about it). David Collier has done a very thorough analysis of the speakers - it is even worse than most people originally imagined. Another excellent analysis of the speakers is here.

My friend has had a further response from the University. Below is that response and his follow-up.

Letter from Southampton University 10 March 2015

Dear XXXX

Thank you for your follow up email of 25 February, and I apologise for the delay in responding.

You have asked a number of questions, to which I hope to be able to respond.

On speakers, as I emailed on Friday, the programme for the conference showing speakers and titles of presentations is now on line. There have been a large number of other speakers who were approached to speak at the conference but who were unavailable or did not wish to participate.

On funding, the cost of the 3 day conference is approximately £49,000. This will be funded by a mixture of conference fees paid by attendees and by donations. Donations have been received by both individuals and organisations, and all donations for the conference will be approved in accordance with our Gift Acceptance Policy (as is the case for any donations to the University). Speakers are unpaid but do have their travel and subsistence costs covered. The University will not be providing direct funding to support the conference. However, academic staff in the School of Law do have access to administrative support staff available to them in carrying out their work, and a small element of this administrative support is being used to help with the organisation of this conference. I am sorry that I cannot give you an estimate for the cost of this support, but it is certainly small compared with the cost of the conference.

You mention that the University would not support an event that challenged the legitimacy of any one of the 58 Islamic States. I wanted to assure you that if a member of the University’s academic staff proposed an academic event on such a subject then it would be considered in exactly the same way as this conference, according to our Code of Practice for ensuring freedom of speech within the law.

I hope that this provides an answer to the questions you raised.

With best wishes

Gavin Costigan 

Follow up letter:

Dear Gavin

Thank you for your response.
Your comment about the speakers is curious. For the record there is not a single participant to put the case for the existence of Israel. In a detailed analysis here http://david-collier.com/?p=98 the author has noted that 80% of the speakers have PUBLICLY demanded a boycott of Israel. I believe that the other 20% can also be defined as anti-Israel.
Hence the idea – as the University continues to maintain – that somehow this conference will consider different and balanced views is palpable nonsense.  As I said in my original letter, this is an anti-Semitic hatefest masquerading as valid academic activity. You should be totally ashamed of yourselves. The University’s reputation is going to be severely damaged by this.

Finally, regarding the financing could you please clarify whether or not the organisers are paying the full commercial cost of conference and lecture room hire.

Yours 

And for those who keep telling me anti-Zionism has nothing to do with anti-Semitism please see here.

UPDATE 18 March 2015: 

Monday, March 09, 2015

Exclusive (leaked from top negotiator): The Iran nuclear deal in full*


The P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, facilitated by the European Union) hereby agree to the following
  • Allow Iran to develop as many nuclear bombs as they wish, providing that for the next 10 years they are used only for peace-keeping purposes.
  • Provide $200 billion in immediate assistance to help Iran develop nuclear reactors for peaceful energy use. This is urgently needed since Iran's natural energy reserves consist only of the second largest oil reserves in the world and the third largest gas reserves in the world. Without the alternative of nuclear energy, Iran's natural resources will run out in less than 23 million years, at which point it will be unable to meet the energy demands of its own population.
  • Immediately drop all sanctions against Iran, but with the strict condition that this will be reviewed - and could even be reversed - as early as May 2160 if Iran does not abide by the terms of the agreement.
  • Provide $100 billion in aid to support Iran's peaceful long-range missile programme and a further $50 billion in aid to support the beleaguered Iranian Revolutionary Guards fighting heroically to preserve democracy in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq and Yemen.
In response Iran commits to the following tough conditions for a minimum period of 2 months
  • Iran promises not to launch a nuclear bomb against any country, providing that country is recognised by the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
  • Iran promises to allow IAEA inspectors to stay in the best hotels in Iran. All requests to visit nuclear sites will be carefully considered by the Ayatollah and the Al Quds forces. 
  • Iran will telephone Valerie Jarrett every week to assure her of Iran's compliance with its commitments
  • Iran promises that once its embassies are reopened they will be used to educate the local population about the world Zionist threat and will also help eliminate local Zionists.
The P5+1 have also assured Iran that any attempt by any country with a Jewish majority to compromise this glorious deal, will be considered a crime against humanity and will result in comprehensive sanctions against that country.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who last week ridiculed Benjamin Netanyahu's speech in Congress saying "demanding Iran's 'capitulation' is no way to secure nuclear deal"** has today confirmed that, the only way to secure the nuclear deal was for the USA and its partners to capitulate.

*satire but not much different to what is actually being negotiated
** Kerry really did say this

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Why you should not give a penny to Comic Relief



No matter how many times I warn people about this it seems they do not get it, so let me spell it out this time in very simple terms:
So, unless you are an antisemite or an international socialist, I am sure you can find many more deserving charities to give your hard-earned cash to than Comic Relief (just make sure it also is not any of these). It is always best to give direct to a specific charity whose work you know you want to help.

See also:





Friday, March 06, 2015

Update on the tax-payer funded antisemitic hatefest at Southampton University



See 10 March 2015 update here.

The University of Southampton is funding a three-day event in April devoted to searching for ways to use international law to deny the world’s only Jewish state the right to exist (the ZF has a petition about it). A friend of mine has written to the Vice Chancellor of the University (see correspondence below, which is very interesting). The latest update is that the programme for the event is now available and it is even worse than anybody could have imagined. There are 58 speakers and, contrary to what Southampton University said in response to my friend, every single one appears to be an anti-Israel activist (see the excellent Open Letter to University of Southampton).


1. Email sent 20 Feb 2015
Dear Professor Don Nutbeam

Can you please explain why the University of Southampton is funding a three-day event in April devoted to searching for ways to use international law to deny the world’s only Jewish state the right to exist? I am referring to this:


Are you aware that the member of your academic staff behind this event (Prof Oren Ben-Dor) actively supports well-known anti-Semites such as Gilad Atzmon and is in turn supported by former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke who has praised Ben-Dor as “perhaps the bravest and clearest thinking person of Jewish descent in the world.”

You must surely be aware that the recent massive increase in anti-Semitism is being fuelled in part by lies and propaganda directed against the tiny Jewish State. I find it incomprehensible that, in such a climate, your University is actually funding such anti-Semitism under the ludicrous guise of academic debate.

Yours
XXXXXX

2. Response 24 Feb 2015


Dear XXXXXX

Thank you for your email dated 20 February to the Vice-Chancellor concerning the conference on International Law and the State of Israel. Professor Nutbeam has asked me to reply on his behalf.

The University of Southampton is legally obliged under Section 43 of the Education (No 2) Act 1986, to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees of the University as well as for visiting speakers.

Our ordinances state that academic staff “have freedom within the law to question and test received wisdom, and to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions, with due regard for the need to respect others and promote the best interests of the University and academic learning, without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or privileges.”

The title of this conference raises an important question, but the conference itself takes no explicit perspective, and academic contributions from all interested parties are most welcome. The conference is designed to have a multi-cultural emphasis, and speakers and delegates have been invited from all perspectives. Their participation has been actively encouraged in relation to the presentation of individual papers and the running of dedicated panel sessions.

Details about the conference can be found at:


Separately from the conference, this University is very proud to host the Parkes Institute, the world's oldest and most wide-ranging centre for the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations across the ages. The Institute was founded by James Parkes, a tireless fighter against anti-Semitism, who transferred his extensive library and archive to the university in 1964. The Parkes Institute carries out a range of activities. As well as teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and an extensive research programme, the Institute has a rapidly developing outreach programme which includes adult education classes and cultural days, schools and colleges visits, as well as public seminars and lectures.

Our academic staff from Parkes - and across the university - have a range of education and research collaborations with colleagues in Israel.

Yours sincerely

Gavin Costigan


Gavin Costigan
Director of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor
University of Southampton
Room 4035, Building 37, Highfield Campus
Southampton SO17 1BJ


3. Second email sent 25 Feb 2015 


Dear Gavin

Thank you for your response.

Unfortunately, there is a fundamental and demonstrably obvious error in your response. You said
“The title of this conference raises an important question, but the conference itself takes no explicit perspective, and academic contributions from all interested parties are most welcome.”

The conference website very clearly contradicts this.
Whereas the title is ambiguous, the theme is not since in the opening paragraph it says
“(The conference) is unique because it concerns the legitimacy in International Law of the Jewish state of Israel.”
It then says
“The conference aims to explore the relatedness of the suffering and injustice in Palestine to the foundation and protection of a state of such nature and asks what role International Law should play in the situation.”

To suggest, as you do, that this takes “no explicit perspective” is an insult to my intelligence, since the perspective is very clearly one that rejects the legitimacy of the Jewish State – a view very forcibly and openly known to be held by BOTH of the listed academic organisers of the conference, as well as all the other academics on the Southampton Organizing committee. As the conference website STILL does not list any of the speakers how can you possibly know that “academic contributions from all interested parties are most welcome.”? Perhaps you can let me know of speakers who will be presenting the unequivocal case for Israel.

There are other aspects of your response that I find deeply insulting. By stressing your commitment to freedom of speech and academic freedom to raise controversial issues, you are clearly implying that I am somehow against these principles. In fact, I was asking why Southampton University was providing FUNDING support for an event that is clearly an anti-semitic hatefest of lies and propaganda under the cover of simply being just ‘anti-Zionist’. I recognise that  these people are perfectly entitled to hold their views and even run events using their own funding, but not that of a tax-payer funded institution. I would also like to point out that I suspect your University would not, for example, support an event that challenged the legitimacy of any one of the 58 Islamic States (including, for example, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which was only recognised by the UN in the same year as Israel). 

I was also insulted by your reference to the Parkes Institute – this actually reminded me of the classic “Some of my best friends are Jewish” response to complaints of anti-Semitic behaviour. What on earth is the relevance of the fact that Southampton has a research centre on “Jewish/non-Jewish relations” got to do with my complaint. The Parkes Centre clearly has no input or relationship to this conference, and I was not accusing the University of institutional anti-semitism. I was asking why it was funding a demonstrably political anti-semitic event under the ludicrous guise of academic debate. And you have not answered that question.

I would, of course, welcome Professor Nutbeam’s comments on the above points.
I would also like to know how much funding support (including the time of support staff) that  the University is providing for the conference.

Yours sincerely

XXXXX

4. Follow-up sent 2 March 2015


Dear Gavin

I was wondering if you or the V-C were going to respond to the attached follow-up letter I sent on 25 Feb.
If not I will be taking the matter up with the University Council.

Perhaps I need to stress that Professor Ben Dor’s fundraising letter asking to support the conference notes explicitly that the “conference is fully hosted, and supported by the University of Southampton. The university enables us to use its hospitality services, event organisation, marketing network and financial administration for the organisation, delivery, recording of the conference. It is a remarkable achievement in itself that such a conference will be help [sic] in UK academia.”

What I am asking for is the real cost of the above-stated University services.

XXXX


5. Response 2 March 2015

Dear XXXXX

Thank you for your email, and I do apologise in the delay in responding. We have received a number of queries about this conference and we are currently preparing answers to questions that you and others have raised.

I hope to be able to respond by the end of this week.

With best wishes

Gavin Costigan

6. Followup email 5 March 2015

Gavin

While I await your response, I think it is important to know that I have learnt that one of the speakers is going to be Richard Falk, a former UN advisor whose career has been marked by outrageous claims and statements. These include:
  • Publishing an anti-Semitic cartoon, for which he was condemned by the US.
  • Promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories, for which he was condemned by Ban Ki-Moon
  • Describing Israel as 'genocidal,' for which he was condemned by Canada.
  • Blaming the Boston Marathon bombings on American foreign policy, specifically her relationship with Israel. This was not only condemned by the US and Ban Ki-Moon, but the British Foreign Office specifically described his comments as being anti-Semitic.

Yours
******

7. Response 6 March 2015
Dear XXXXX

I am writing to let you know that I will not now be able to provide a full response to your email until Monday or Tuesday next week, for which apologies. However, you asked about speakers and I wanted to let you know that the conference programme is now on the website and can be found here:

http://www.southampton.ac.uk/israelpalestinelaw/programme/index.page?

I will respond more fully next week.

With best wishes

Gavin
See 10 March 2015 update here.