Tag Archives: Israel

Are You Horrified Enough Yet?

The bewildering variety of names of the entity known as “Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL/The Caliphate/[insert new name]” is enough to worry paranoid survivalists and bloodthirsty neo-fascists alike. The people who invent these names are well aware of this.  It’s as if each new word and phrase has been specifically crafted to strike a chord within the minds of a variety of constituents. For example, it is likely that Sun readers will respond more favourably to the simple phrase “Islamic State”, while classically educated people who are familiar with names like The Levant, the classical name for the Middle or Near East, will respond to the name “Islamic State in the Levant”. The British far-right has convinced itself that Muslims in general (never mind that Islam, in common with other mass religions, is far from being a homogeneous religious group) desire to carve out a caliphate and that this caliphate will challenge Western (often referred to as Judaeo-Christian) hegemony. Hence the word “caliphate” was used to appeal to this target group.  Interestingly, the use of this word has slipped from media usage and has been superseded by ISIS/ISIL. It goes without saying that a gullible public can always be counted on to fall in line when the state dictates. Are you horrified enough yet?

The revelation in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph that the video of James Foley’s apparent execution may have been staged is reminiscent of the many atrocity stories that are produced on behalf of the state has been happening since time immemorial. The First Crusade, which took place before the advent of mass media, was prosecuted on rumours, innuendos and lies. A largely illiterate population was convinced, by those who controlled the production and flow of information, of the need to fight “the Saracen” by graphic stories of unspeakable horror. Crowds of people would be whipped into a frenzy by the plausible speeches of dubious characters like Peter the Hermit. As a bonus, those taking the cross were told that participation in the Crusade would achieve the remission of their sins. There is no remission of sins offered in these latest escapades.

In the weeks leading to Britain’s entry into the First World War, newspapers printed stories that were broadly referred to as “The Rape of Belgium“. The most memorable line from those stories was “Huns rape nuns”, this was joined by variations like “Huns eat babies”. The public fell for these stories to the extent that thousands of pals signed up to fight Germany, even though it was apparently Serbia that had started the war. European monarchs fearful of potential revolution at home, were eager to commit hundreds of thousands of working class people to fight for a war that only they wanted. For we must remember that in the years leading up to World War One, there was a great deal of industrial and social unrest that was marked by the Tonypandy and Llanelli riots, and the anchoring of gunboats in the Mersey and the Humber. The propagandists did their jobs and revolution was avoided.

But this is not the Crusades (in which thousands of Jews as well as Muslims and Orthodox Christians were also slaughtered by Western Christians) nor is this the First World War, but the basic intent of atrocity propaganda has stubbornly refused to change. It is designed to strike horror and fear into the minds of television viewers and readers. The apparent execution of James Foley is one in a long line of horror stories produced by propagandists to horrify otherwise sensible people and persuade them to hate others for no reason at all. Are you horrified enough yet?

Within hours of the video of the “execution” going live on the Internet, the British government informed us that viewing it would be a breach of national security and people watching it on YouTube could face arrest. Twitter and YouTube dutifully removed the video, even though they had no evidence of its veracity and complied with government diktat. On the BBC, security correspondent Frank Gardner, who himself has close ties to the intelligence services, offered his expert opinions on the video and what it signified. The subtext of this signification was adopted by Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond (who is also a member of Conservative Friends of Israel), who warned that “ISIS could strike on British soil”. To this, he added,

“[it is an] utter betrayal of our country, our values and everything the British people stand for”.

Hammond’s ideas of “British values” ignore the gross violations of human rights committed by British forces in Northern Ireland, India and Iraq over the course of its imperial history. Are you horrified enough yet?

You will also notice how quickly Binyamin Netanyahu latched onto the Foley story and, within hours, his office produced a series of propaganda graphics to claim Hamas is the same as ISIS (or whatever they’re calling themselves this week). Here’s one example that was produced within hours of Foley’s “execution” as it appeared on his Facebook page.


Netanyahu and his fellow Revisionist Zionists hope that the average person will be ignorant of the fact that Hamas and ISIS are ideologically opposed to one another. Furthermore, the name “Hamas” has been used by Israeli propagandists as a shorthand for all Gazans. You will recall that early into wittily titled “Operation Protective Edge” that Netanyahu and his propaganda minister, Mark Regev, insisted that because the Gazans (sic) had voted for Hamas, this was sufficient grounds for them to collectively punished. However in terms of their callous disregard for human life, one is tempted to argue that the Zionists and ISIS have much more in common than Netanyahu would care to admit.

Israel has also been known to employ agents provocateurs in the past and the current crisis in Gaza is no exception. Today we learned that Israel had staged the recent ceasefire violation in order to assassinate Commander-in-Chief of the Al Qassam Brigades, Muhammad Al-Daif.

The website of Makor Rishon newspaper said that Ben Yair, who also worked as a judge in the Israeli supreme court, tweeted on his twitter account the following: “There is no agreement and hostilities have been renewed, but who is the culprit? Hamas who wants an agreement with accomplishments or Israel who staged the breach of the ceasefire in order to justify the assassination of Muhammad Al-Daif?”

ISIS or whatever they’re being called this week is part truth and part fiction. The simple fact is that whatever is being reported about this group, and there appears to be some doubt as to its cohesiveness, much of it is gibberish. This is not say that the group called ISIS doesn’t exist and isn’t killing civilians. But the mass media’s hysterical reportage fits in with the Israeli state’s objectives and the murderous desires of Western warmongers, who can’t wait to start another war. Why? Because war is big business and as Major General Smedley Butler wrote “War is a racket”.

Are you horrified enough yet?

You won’t be, if you refuse to live in fear.


Filed under Media, Middle East, propaganda

Have you ever wondered why British politicians are so keen to put Israel’s position across in a positive light? Have you ever wondered why Foreign Secretary William Hague went on television and seemed rather biased towards Israel? Well wonder no more. This blog from Occupied Palestine tells how The Conservative Friends of Israel has spent £30,000 since 2010 on taking Tory backbenchers on tours to the Occupied Territories. The Conservatives are not the only British political party to have a “Friends of Israel” group, the Labour Party has one. Luke Akehurst, former member of the NEC, is one of the most vociferous supporters of Israel. The Lib Dems also have their own chapter, so to speak. Now you know why the Palestinians are portrayed as “terrorists”. Now you know why nothing ever changes. Israel has bought political influence in this country. I suspect that these “Friends of Israel” see themselves as helping to hasten the Second Coming of Christ (yes, they genuinely believe that Book of Revelations gobbledegook). Of course, the bonehead Zionists can’t see that.

What’s even more worrying is that 80% of Tories are members of CFOI. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Liam Fox is a prominent member.

Here is an article from The Guardian (16/11/09). Here’s a snippet,

William Hague allegedly accepted personal donations from CFI board members totalling tens of thousands of pounds after being appointed shadow foreign secretary. More than £30,000 from CFI supporters went to the campaign funds of members of Cameron’s team who were first elected in 2005, the film claims, using publicly available information.

Hague’s position as Foreign Secretary is compromised. He shouldn’t be in charge of the Foreign Office. He has blood on his hands.

Labour Friends of Israel, another key group, is described as being “less unquestioning in its support of the Israeli government than CFI”. But it has taken more MPs on free trips to Israel than any other group – more than 60 since 2001.

So if you vote for the three main parties, you’re voting to perpetuate the cycle of violence. You’re also voting for genocide.

Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

Pro-Israeli lobbyists inside the UK have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds since the last general election taking lawmakers on propaganda tours to the Israeli occupied Palestinian territories.

PRESSTV | Nov 23, 2012

British parliamentarians, who have toured the Israeli occupied territories on paid visits, have then gone on to make supportive speeches and statements in Parliament and the media backing the regime’s atrocities against the oppressed Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West bank.

A report has found that Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), a pro-Israeli parliamentary group inside the Commons, spent over £30,000 since 2010 taking more than two dozen Tory backbenchers to Israel and the West Bank on five separate trips.

As many as a few days ago, when the Zionist military launched an all-out invasion against the blockaded Gaza Strip, the CFI immediately released a public letter signed by 17 Tory MPs, 10…

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Israel rejects ceasefire

Surprise, surprise, Israeli officials last night rejected a ceasefire with Gaza. The reason for this is because they want to continue so-called “targeted killings” (assassinations). That and because the Israeli state is firmly committed to the genocide of the Palestinian people.

Meanwhile the BBC continues its pro-Israeli line by only interviewing Israelis, who repeat the line about “terrorists”. Not that the Israeli state isn’t terrorist. No, it wasn’t founded by terrorists at all.

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How Does Israel Attack Gaza?

Great little animation!

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Former IAF captain speaks out about his country’s attack on Gaza. He describes it as nothing less than a war crime. He’s right.

A lot of Israelis have had enough of macho politics.

Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

Nov 17, 2012 by Neo ie

Brave Israeli Soldier, Yonatan Shapira, speaks out about the Zionist Israeli governments crimes.

Read the blog “The Dark History of Modern Day Zionism” – http://choiceandtruth.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-dark-history-of-modern-day-zio…

You can also follow Choice and Truth at;

#GazaUnderAttack | NOV 17, 2012 | LIVE BLOG
#GazaUnderAttack | NOV 16, 2012| LIVE BLOG
#GazaUnderAttack | NOV 15, 2012 | LIVE BLOG
#GazaUnderAttack | NOV 13, 2012 | LIVE BLOG
#GazaUnderAttack | NOV 14, 2012 | LIVE BLOG
#GazaUnderAttack | NOV 12, 2012| LIVE BLOG
#GazaUnderAttack | NOV 11, 2012 | LIVE BLOG
#GazaUnderAttack | NOV 10, 2012| LIVE BLOG ‎

For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read: The History of Resistance | The Eagle of Palestine

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The real reason for Israel’s attack on Gaza

If you think you’ve seen this movie before, then you probably have. It’s more or less the sequel to Operation Cast Lead and it’s happening under similar circumstances: a forthcoming election. That’s right, Bibi Netanyahu is facing an election and he wants to win, and the only way he can see himself and his Likud party winning seats is by presenting himself as a macho tough guy with a baseball bat who stands up to a boy with a pea-shooter.

The last time this happened, it was the new Kadima Party chairperson and former Mossad operative, Tzipi Livni, facing an election after she ousted the corrupt Ehud Olmert as party leader. Kadima, founded in 2005 by notorious Zionist headbanger, Ariel Sharon, presents itself as a “centre party” and in the scheme of Israeli politics, perhaps it is a centre party. That doesn’t mean it isn’t influenced by revisionist Zionism, because it is. Half of its members are former Likudniks, the other half are former Labor Party members. Can you imagine a party in the UK being formed from factions of the Conservative and Labour Parties? No? I can’t either. But that’s the incredibly fluid nature of Israeli politics for you.

Likud is committed to neoliberal economic policies and neoconservative foreign policies.  Many of its leaders are American or have spent some considerable portion of their lives in the US.  Netanyahu lived in Pennsylvania for a number of years and ‘ambassador’ Dore Gold was born and raised in  Connecticut.

It is worth remembering that the Likud-dominated government has imposed austerity measures and that Netanyahu’s popularity took a dive earlier in the year. Last year and the year before, Israelis have been protesting in ever larger numbers against the rise in the cost of living – especially rents. This barely gets reported in Britain’s newspapers and is never mentioned on television news.

The poll, conducted by Dialog and Tel Aviv University, found that 60 percent of Israelis were displeased with the way Netanyahu was functioning as prime minister. Only 31% said they supported Netanyahu’s actions.

The numbers are the lowest since Netanyahu took office in 2009. The prime minister has generally enjoyed approval ratings hovering around 50%, with periodic large drops coming as a result of economic issues.

Regarding Steinitz, 67% said they were unhappy with his policies and actions, while only 19% supported him.

The results were the latest in a series of polls conducted by the newspaper. Netanyahu’s popularity has been dropping in the past three polls, and it dropped by 10% between during the month of July.

These are the actions of a man who is desperate to turn around his flagging popularity in the face of a forthcoming election. But let’s not make excuses for Netanyahu; he is a warmonger and a psychopath. His idea of “security” means brutalizing the Palestinians and holding his fellow Israelis to ransom by using the spectre of one-sided violence and persecution as a psychological weapon.

The language used by Netanyahu and Likud and the other right-wing parties differs little from the stream of paranoid scaremongering that comes from the likes of The Telegraph’s Nile Gardiner. This blog is rather typical. It paints Netanyahu as a “defender of the free world”. Seriously, the man is totally nuts.

What’s the betting that the IDF will claim, in the coming weeks, that they’ve found evidence that the Iranian Republican Guard are present in Gaza and that they’ve found a “cache of chemical weapons”? It may sound far-fetched but then, this is what desperate politicians like Netanyahu do when their ratings are in the toilet and they’re facing a serious test at the ballot box. “I’m your protector and you can only have freedom through me”, seems to be the tacit message coming from Bibi’s lips.

As I type this, William Hague is on Sky News talking darkly about “Iran’s support for Hamas”. You can see how desperate the Tories are to start a war with Iran and if Netanyahu and his chums use Gaza as a prelude to a future war with Iran, then all the better. It’s a great way to divert attention from austerity measures and the Tories’ unpopularity. But they forget the embarrassment of the Suez Crisis.

Bibi also wants to outmanoeuvre those in the Israeli establishment who are beginning to question the policy of never-ending war.

In short, Bibi and Barak’s ship continues to sink. Their war plans have been scuttled by forces that have proven much more determined than I ever expected them to be: the Obama administration; the Israeli security establishment, retired and, most importantly, active; many of Israel’s most respected mainstream journalists (especially Barnea and Shiffer, Haaretz’s Amos Harel and Amir Oren, and Channel 10′s Immanuel Rosen and Alon Ben-David), who’ve gotten out the story that IDF chief Benny Gantz, IDF Intelligence head Aviv Kochavi, Air Force commander Amir Eshel, Mossad director Tamir Pardo and Shin Bet head Yoram Cohen are against a war; and Peres, whom Haaretz’s Ari Shavit described as ”the true leader of the opposition … [who] is working with all his power to foil the move being advanced by Netanyahu and Barak.”

Meanwhile the BBC keeps silent about this and the growing Israeli peace movement. Instead, we are treated to more doses of chest-thumping rhetoric from Gold or some IDF spokesperson as if it’s the only discourse in town. It’s easier for Netanyahu to blame Hamas for violence than to accept responsibility for the failure of his government to provide real peace and security.

Daniel Levy has written an interesting article in the Daily Beast.  Here’s an extract.

“In all my years in office I haven’t declared a war.”

With those words (and others) Israel’s Prime Minister launched his re-election campaign in an October speech to the Knesset. Well, at least that part of the election message box might now have to change. In launching Operation Pillar of Defence, Netanyahu is taking an uncharacteristic gamble—albeit a calculated risk. The decision was very likely made with the prompting of his Defence Minister Ehud Barak (who unlike the Prime Minister has little to lose politically, with Barak’s Independence party barely scraping the threshold to enter the Knesset, and is predicated on a number of circumstances having aligned). To be clear, this was an escalation of choice by Israel’s leadership (and it could become yet another war of choice). As the timeline of events over the last week makes clear, the killing of a Palestinian minor on November 8 during an IDF incursion into Gaza initiated a round of escalation which was already drawing to a close on November 11 and 12, leading to formal reports from a number of Israeli, Palestinian and international sources that a new truce was in place on November 13. Israel then assassinated Hamas’s military chief Ahmed al-Jabari on November 14.

And the British media continues to lie. How much longer?

UPDATE @ 18/11/12 @ 1321

Here’s an interesting article from Global Research that adds another dimension to this whole affair.

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Brendan O’Neill thinks Jews and Israelis are the same thing

Brendan O’Neill: he isn’t very bright

Brendan O’Neill isn’t the sharpest tool in the box. His blogs for the Daily Telegraph are indicative of his blinkered thinking and faulty logic. Many of his blogs are indeed pure loonspuddery. Well, what do you expect from a man who is part of the LM Network? Sense? A coherent argument?

Today’s blog from O’Neill smears Steve Bell, The Guardian and assumes that being Jewish is the same thing as being Israeli.  Perhaps sensing that he was in for a cyber kicking, he has closed the comments thread. Wise move, chum, but you didn’t count on The Cat spotting your mindless nonsense.

Anyway, the blog is quite short and I shall quote it in its entirety,

What is the message of this cartoon in the Guardian this morning? (See screen grab above.) That Jews are the puppet-masters of Western politicians? Do people still believe in that old, poisonous conspiracy theory?

Deliberate and nasty. The dynamics of the Israel/Palestine conflict and its ontology are completely ignored by the eternally stupid O’Neill, who prefers easy answers and simple explanations. One also suspects that his view of the Palestinians concurs with Mitt Romney’s myopic view of them.

Here’s the middle class O’Neill claiming the “middle classes are panicking about losing Newsnight” adding “Now they know how News of the World readers felt”. No, Brendan, it’s all your fevered imagination.

I suspect O’Neill thinks all Jews are Zionists. What he doesn’t realize, quite probably, is that the most fervent Zionists are end-times Christians. Many Jews aren’t Zionists but I doubt O’Neill has ever heard or met any of them.

By the way, the Steve Bell cartoon is ace.

UPDATE 16/11/12 @ 1228

I see O’Neill’s stablemate, Damian Thompson has also repeated the smear.

My sense is that the odious Steve Bell has produced a cartoon (which you can see in Brendan O’Neill’s blogpost here) so unquestionably anti-Semitic – Jews as puppet–masters, for God’s sake – that even the Guardian won’t be able to shrug this one off.

Point spectacularly missed by the wilfully blind and ignorant Thompson, who has also closed the comments thread to his blog. Their ploy is a desperate one that is based on a wilful misrepresentation of Bell’s cartoon. Perhaps Thompson and O’Neill should check how many UN resolutions Israel has flouted and then come back to the cartoon. But I know they won’t. They prefer to deceive themselves and those who read their trash. Referring to Bell as a “Nazi” is beyond the pale.


Filed under Ideologies, Media, propaganda, Tory press, Yellow journalism

Will the IDF try and blow this boat out of the water?

An aid vessel that has been organized by Jewish humanitarian organizations worldwide has set sail for Gaza from Cyprus. How will the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) respond to this latest attempt to break the illegal blockade?

A boat carrying aid for Gaza’s population and organized by Jewish groups worldwide has set sail from Cyprus today at 13:32 local time

The boat, Irene, is sailing under a British flag and is carrying ten passengers and crew, including Jews from the US, the UK, Germany and Israel as well as an Israeli journalist.

There will doubtless be a few Christian Zionists who will call them “self-hating Jews”. CNN reminds these people and those who are in the mistaken belief that all Jews support Israel’s inhumane actions in Gaza and the Occupied Territories that,

“Israeli government policies are not supported by all Jews,” said Richard Kuper of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, one of the organizers. “We call on all governments and people around the world to speak and act against the occupation and the siege.”

Last week the UN report into the Israeli actions over the last aid convoy condemned the use of force used by the IDF. Israel responded by claiming the report was “biased”.  Meanwhile Israel has ordered its own ‘inquiry’.

The Israeli government has begun its own independent inquiry into the flotilla raid, the Turkel Commission. It has two foreign observers, but critics say its remit is too narrow.

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The proposed Israel-Palestine peace talks: what hope for a single state solution?

So talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians (an absurdity given that even Israelis are really Palestinians in denial) are going to take place from next month.  Both parties have supposedly agreed to them. But I won’t hold my breath. We have been here before and each time Israel continues to build settlements and break agreements as it sees fit.

But as this AFP article says, the talks are talking place on fragile ground.

A statement from his [Netanyahu’s] office noted with satisfaction that, contrary to Palestinian demands that talks be contingent on Israel extending a temporary freeze on Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, Clinton stated explicitly that the talks must be without preconditions.

That’s interesting. So who will these talks actually benefit? The Israelis or those US and British politicians that want to secure their place in history? Remember, although this was announced by Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair’s fingerprints are all over this.

However, Haim Oron of Meretz warned,

“Without (Israel) continuing a total freeze on settlement and a genuine readiness to withdraw to the international borders and an end to offering the Palestinians a caricature of a state it will be a wast of everybody’s time,” he said.

This caricature of a state will be the useless bits of land that Israel doesn’t want: those arid, non-arable parts of land.

Chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat said,

Unless the Israeli government stops settlement and stops demolishing homes in (Israeli-occupied) east Jerusalem we shall not be able to continue the talks,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile Hamas spokesman,  Sami Abu Zuhri has said,

This invitation is a new attempt to fool the Palestinian people after the Annapolis experience, during which we were promised a Palestinian state within a year, but many years have passed and we are still at square one

The only real solution is a single-state solution. The two state ‘solution; that has been advocated by the so-called ‘Quartet’ is based on the lie that Palestinian people are essentially different to the Israelis. It also suggests a continuation of a form of apartheid: a country will be carved out of Bantustans, all of them economically and politically dependent upon Israel.

The graver danger is that the West Bank would turn into a dozen Gaza Strips with large Israeli civilian populations wedged between miserable, overcrowded walled Palestinian ghettos. The patchwork Palestinian state would be free only to administer its own poverty, visited by regular bouts of bloodshed.

Recently, some Likudniks in the Knesset have performed a volte face and welcomed the principle of a single state. But a single state on Israel’s terms would be just as bad as what currently exists

Their visions still fall far short of what any Palestinian advocate of a single state would consider to be just: the Israeli proposals insist on maintaining the state’s character — at least symbolically — as a “Jewish state,” exclude the Gaza Strip, and do not address the rights of Palestinian refugees. And, settlers on land often violently expropriated from Palestinians would hardly seem like obvious advocates for Palestinian human and political rights.

Finally this article from Ha’aretz says,

Both Jews and Palestinians would have to be willing to renounce the struggle for hegemony. The political culture would have to be structured in a way that avoids such a struggle. Jews would have to be willing to accept Jabotinsky’s suggestion that the President of the state could be sometimes Jewish and sometimes Arab.

Jabotinsky said that? The Quartet clearly want a two-state solution but it would be unwise of them to close their mind to the fact that many want a single state. To ignore this fact would be fatal and would lead to a collapse of the talks. It also appears that Gaza has been left out of the talks. Why?

As I said, I won’t hold my breath.

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Idiot watch (Part 1)

The Daily Telegraph is home to a number of right-wing blogs, some of which I mention on this site.  A lot of what is blogged on its pages tends to be Cyclopean; that is to say, the blogs look at the world through one bad eye.  Two such bloggers are Toby Young and Douglas Murray. Today I’m looking at two interrelated blogs from the pair of them.

The main problem I have with Young is that he’s a controversialist; he’ll say anything to get attention.  I’ve always known that he was a little right wing too. Young is  the son of Labour life peer Michael Young who allegedly coined the word ‘meritocracy’. In his blog he uses his encounter with  Salma Yaqoob in Question Time’s green room as a vehicle for his support of Israel’s inhumane blockade of Gaza.

In this article he repeats the Zionist mantra of ‘Gaza is Hamas-controlled and is therefore plotting Israel’s downfall’.  With what weapons are they doing this, Toby? The only weapons to be fired from Gaza are crude homemade rockets not cluster bombs or phosphorus weapons.  This is not to excuse the rocket attacks but to see them in the twin lights of causality and proportionality.  All Young does here is to apologise for Israel’s policy of collective punishment which is, itself,  a deadly irony: the last regime to use collective punishment against an entire people was Nazi Germany – does Bibi know this? Young’s position is entirely formed by Israeli-constructed tropes. Never mind that the people of Gaza are going without food and medical supplies or that the blockade bans such things as chickens. No, Young is content to repeat the same lies as Mark Regev and for him this is a simple binary of Jew versus Arab. Should we tell him about the Mizrahim or the Nakba? He wouldn’t listen even if we did.

One of the worst things about Young’s blog is the way he name-checks Douglas Murray, whom he tellingly refers to as a “colleague”. Shitehawks of a feather always hang together. In Murray’s article he uses Yaqoob in much the same way as Young but makes the suggestion that she may be some kind of fifth columnist and her worst crime is that she is opposed to the so-called “Two-state solution”.  Here’s what he wrote:

When she is on Question Time she tends to pose as a sort of level-headed ordinary mum. But my gosh when she gets on a platform in front of her own kind of mob she displays a different set of manners.

Murray, whenever he appears on Question Time, comes across as a paranoid conspiracy theorist and cultural extremist.  He’s  also rather fond of Paddy jokes (if he likes Paddy Jokes, then what other kind of joke does he like?). Murray heads a think tank called the Centre for Social Cohesion. On first glance, the CSC appears to be a one-man band. Well, I ask you, who would want to work with such a man as Murray? In fact, only 4 people work with him though these people are never seen. As for social cohesion, whatever Murray is up to, it isn’t likely to produce social cohesion nor is it likely to  produce anything other than the reinforcement of the position of the dominant class and, in turn,  perpetuate their power through their control of culture. The main focus of CSC’s work is on Islam; it is a single-minded obsession. The CSC doesn’t conduct research into Christian, Jewish or Hindu fundamentalism. There are no questions asked about the nature of Otherness and how is is constructed. It would appear to Murray that ‘British’ culture is homogenised and underpinned by so-called ‘Christian values’…in other words, the values that are produced by the dominant class and are projected onto those below them.

Education is supposed to broaden the mind. In Young’s and Murray’s case all it has done is provide them with passports to kudos and privilege. Because of their respective educational backgrounds we are meant to take them seriously; perhaps even be entertained by them. But what really comes across from these supposedly well-educated men is their shocking ignorance and their less-than-subtle bigotries.

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