Friday, July 28, 2006

Advertisements call for a ceasefire in Lebanon

There has been an advertising blitz in the UK press (reported in the the Guardian) by various charities, human rights and religious organisations urging Tony Blair to use his meeting with George Bush to call for a ceasefire.

This whole frantic campaign smacks of hypocrisy. Where were all these people during the Darfur crisis, (which is still continuing), when hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians lost their lives and over two million had to flee their homes? And during the barely reported civil war in Congo which took place between 1998 and 2003, over three million people are estimated to have died, yet during this period, there was barely a murmur of protest.

In the circumstances, you have to ask yourself what has motivated all these non-profit organisations to launch their ad campaign? Do the deaths of millions of Africans matter less than the deaths of hundreds of Arabs, or are they just keen to demonstrate to Britain's Muslim community that we shouldn't be siding with Israel?

Britain's self-hating Jews

When Will Self announced in yesterday's Evening Standard that he's considering "resigning as a Jew", I was a little surprised. I thought he resigned a long time ago. And why does he want to tender his "resignation"? Because he says, of what Israel is doing in Lebanon.

And I quote:
"There is a little local difficulty with my being Jewish, and there's also the current indefensible behaviour of the Israeli army in Lebanon (I can't bring myself to utter the oxymoron "defence force"). While I, too, consider that Israel has a right to exist and to defend itself, I don't think it's an unconditional right. But the Israelis have a conception of themselves as a helpless and abused child who can ask the parental West for unconditional love.

It's this that explains their hatred - and apparent targeting of the UN. A multilateral organisation aimed too much at promoting peace smacks too much of maturity to Baby Zion. That's why he stamps on their play-observation post and ignores their mandates.

It's time the Israelis grew up and recognised just as their own aspiration to nationhood first manifested itself in terrorism, so the terrorist activities of Hamas and Hezbollah can only be ended once they, too, are talked to like young adults, rather than savagely beaten with 500lb bombs".
If Will Self is going to criticise Israel, he should at least excercise some intellectual honesty. When the UN endorsed the paritition plan for Israel in 1947, the majority of Jews and the Jewish Agency accepted their proposal. By contrast, Hamas today seeks nothing less than the elimination of Israel, and makes no secret of it.

As for Hezbollah, what exactly is Israel supposed to talk to them about? Hezbollah are a Lebanese militia and have no connection to Israel except for their desire to wipe it off the map.

What is so disturbing about Will Self, JFJFP, the Jewish Socialist Group, and others of their ilk is their willingness to distort the facts in order to prove how unjust Israel is. With people like these, who needs enemies?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Is Israel's action disproportionate?

Much of the media, the world's politicians and UN have been attacking Israel for their "disproportionate" use of force. It deoesn't matter that Hezbollah's rockets are deliberately aimed at civilian areas and tipped with ball bearings in order to kill and maim as many people as possible. It doesn't matter that Hezbollah uses the civilian population as human shields, siting its rocket launchers and military headquarters in civilian areas. In today's world, the agressor and the victim are no longer determined by who started the war, but by who has has killed more people.

If we are no longer able to distinguish between a terrorist organisation that has vowed to wipe its neighbour off the map, and a sovereign nation defending itself against these terrorists, than we put the very future of civilisation at risk. It has already become fashionable to blame Britain for "war crimes" during World War Two because of the huge numbers of German civilians killed in its bombing raids. If we are no longer able to distinguish between good and evil, then we risk letting history repeating itself.

Yankee bashing has become all the rage in Britain!

As the war in the middle east rages on, it has become fashionable in much of the British media to attack the United States for it's supposed lack of impartiality. At least the Times has had the common sense to attack this nonsense.

America's critics seem to have forgotton how this war started, how Israel left Lebanon six years ago, and how Hezbollah have been firing rockets into Israel ever since. Yesterday, various human rights, religious and aid groups sent an open letter to Tony Blair, urging him to back an immediate ceasefire. But who really believes that Hezbollah are going to hold to any ceasefire? Does no one remember what Hezbollah did to the last peacekeeping force, when it murdered 241 US marines and 60 French paratroopers? This article by Kevin Toolis might remind them.

Meanwhile, many Egyptians are celebrating the 50th anniversary Nasser's seizure of the Suez Canal. There will be many in the Arab world who will want to draw parallels with Nasser and Nasrallah.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bermant's Blog gets a mention in the BMJ

In this month's issue of the British Medical Journal, my blog is mentioned in an article on Four wheel drive vehicles, class war and the BMJ (requires subscription).

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The anti-war lobby makes the connection between Iraq and Israel

Many of those demonstrating against the War in Iraq have long sought to make a connection with Israel whom they see as the root cause of all the problems in the middle east.

The conflict in Lebanon has finally given the anti-war protestors the opportunity they've been looking for, and the emphasis has now moved from Iraq to Israel. You only have to look at the Stop the War coalition's website to see what I mean. This group started off as being opposed to the war in Afghanistan, then moved their opposition to the war in Iraq, now their main focus is on Israel's "war crimes". You'd be hard pressed to even find the word "Hezbollah" on their website. The Stop the War coalition fortunately are a ragtag group of extreme left fanatics and Islamists who often spend more time fighting each other than fighting Israel. Unfortunately, their sentiments are shared by much of Britain's mainstream media.

Where is Anglo Jewry during Israel's hour of need?

A few weeks ago, a letter appeared in The Times signed by 300 members of Anglo Jewry condemning Israel's actions in Gaza. The letter was signed by well-known figures in British society including playwright Harold Pinter, film director Mike Leigh, historian Prof Eric Hobsbawn, and actor Miriam Margoyles. The protest was led by a group called Jews for Justice for Palestinians (do you think the Palestinians have an equivalent group??!). If these people had any genuine concern for Israel, why didn't they publish their advertisement in an Israeli newspaper? Unfortunately, the signatories are more interested in demonstrating their anti-zionist credentials to the British public rather than engaging with their own community. Most of the signatories have little or no connection with Judaism or Israel except for the contempt they feel for it.

And the reason I bring this this all up, three weeks later, is that it all highlights a general malaise in Anglo Jewry. Even amongst Israel's supporters, who far outnumber the anti-zionists, there seems to be a fear of sticking our neck out. On Sunday, after several weeks of silence, a rally was finally organised by the Board of Deputies in support of Israel. And where do you think the rally was held? In Trafalgar Square? In Central London maybe? No, it was held on the grounds of a high school, out in the suburbs where no one could see or hear them! What is the point of having a rally if no one can hear you.

In the United States, whether they are religious or secular, orthodox or reform, Jews are feel proud of who they are and are unafraid of demonstrating their support for Israel. It's about time that Anglo Jewry displayed a little self-confidence. Their pathetic response to the current crisis in Lebanon reminds me of how prominent German Jews behaved in the 18th and 19th century. Their response to anti-semitism was contempt for their own religion and their solution was to baptise rather than fight their tormentors.