Archive | October 31st, 2010

A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

       *    when Israelis call their country “apartheid”, we’re in trouble

When Israelis call their country “apartheid”, we’re in trouble

31 Oct 2010

Zvi Bar’el in Haaretz:

Israel is quickly defining the borders of the Arab autonomy and through apartheid legislation it is granting the Arab minority a legal standing of enclaves with lesser rights; of a cultural-ethnic region which, because it is being expelled from the broader who, can also demand international recognition for its unique standing.

 

MSM commentator prays for Iran attack

31 Oct 2010

This is what a Serious columnist for the Washington Post, David Broder, wrote yesterday:

Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.

What other response than ridicule to such ignorant bollocks? Perhaps Broder would like to kill Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself.

 

Talking sense in the Sri Lankan media barely happens these days

31 Oct 2010

Behold a true rarity. This article in Sri Lanka’s The Sunday Leader shows that there are still a few voices of reason in that authoritarian state:

Contrary to the attempts to spin-doctor every excess of the current regime and its sins of omission by those whose names hardly need specifying to anyone familiar with the media in this country, Sri Lanka has very serious problems that stem, primarily, from the militarism, racism, triumphalism and brutality that appears to pervade society and is increasingly taken for granted, as a ‘fact of life,’ thanks to the seemingly never-ending barrage of propaganda from writers of this ilk and those who provide them with patronage.

The fact that most of this stems from nearly three decades of violent conflict, does not provide an excuse to pretend it isn’t a problem in the here and now.

Suffice it to say that the sycophantic voices are significant and their ranks swelling, thanks to the perks that accrue to such people for providing the cloak of concealment to a regime that it is increasingly short of raiment with which to cover its moral and ethical nakedness.

Sri Lankan governments past and present are guilty of generating and presiding over this tragic state of affairs. The constant fall back of the horde of apologists when confronted with these horrors is, “They did it first,” the “they” ranging from Atilla the Hun, the Visigoths, the leaders of the Inquisition, on to Hitler, Idi Amin and the governments that invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. In the case of the last category, the very fact that their conduct was totally reprehensible and their subsequent behaviour hypocritical, does not give us the right to use them as stalking horses to visit misery on those we victimise.
And this is exactly the path that these apologists tread in their seemingly endless sycophantic posturing.

A simple phrase would describe the response of those of us who subscribe to a code of decency, morality or ethics of some description: “This is just not good enough.” Invoking the horrors of years and centuries past to justify the excesses of Sri Lanka today is just not acceptable.

 

Al Jazeera’s Listening Post on Wikileaks Iraq documents

31 Oct 2010

The Wikileaks Iraq files continue to cause robust discussion around the world.

Al-Jazeera’s weekly media show, Listening Post, examined the impact of the latest revelations and how some journalists preferred to focus on the personal life of Julian Assange rather than the fact that the US had turned a blind eye to Iraqi torture and murder.

The show asked me to briefly comment on the Wikileaks story and it starts below at 8.03. (My previous Al-Jazeera appearance, regarding the Wikileaks documents on Afghanistan, is here):

 

Is the Times too worried about upsetting its mates in Washington?

30 Oct 2010

New York Times‘ Public Editor looks at the ethical decisions made by the paper in accepting the Wikileaks documents over Afghanistan.

In the end, he argues that the paper made the right choice but there is one thing missing; the focus the paper took towards the US government. Was it too servile?

Mr. Bill Keller [Times editor] said no conditions were placed on the news organizations’ use of the material, except that they were obligated to synchronize publication with WikiLeaks’s publication online. The Times mapped out its own coverage.

“We chose the documents that struck us as most interesting,” Mr. Keller said in an e-mail message. “We did our own analysis of the material. We decided what to write. We did not discuss any of those matters with WikiLeaks, or give them an advance look at our stories.”

He emphasized, in other words, The Times’s independence from WikiLeaks. The issue emerged as a definitive one in my conversations with veteran journalists, a legal expert and a retired general.

Some say that what’s important is the material itself. Whether or not Julian Assange is a rogue with a political agenda, what matters most is that The Times authenticates the information.

“They did exactly the right thing to establish an arms-length distance,” said Paul Steiger, editor-in-chief of the news organization ProPublica. “WikiLeaks is not the A.P.”

David Rudenstine, a Cardozo Law School professor and author of “The Day the Presses Stopped: A History of the Pentagon Papers Case,” said, “If The Times makes the judgment that this is the real thing, I don’t think it matters much” who it is dealing with.

Another view holds that it is impossible to separate the legitimacy of the material from its source. In this situation, the challenge is compounded because The Times’s source, WikiLeaks, obtained the material from its own source — a leaker whose identity remains uncertain.

“Did the source select which documents to turn over?” asked Bill Kovach, of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, in an e-mail message to me. “What was the nature of the transaction between WikiLeaks and the source(s)? Did WikiLeaks turn over only some documents and not others?”

Mr. Keller said the documents deserved attention, “whatever you think of WikiLeaks as an organization.” He added that Times staffers scrutinized the material to satisfy themselves that it had not been manipulated.

 

Prosecuting a child at Gitmo and calling it justice

30 Oct 2010

Obama’s America:

Everything about the last week’s events at Guantánamo has been deeply disturbing. On Monday, in defiance of international obligations requiring the rehabilitation of child prisoners, the US government — under President Obama — fulfilled the deepest wishes of the Bush administration, and persuaded Omar Khadr, the Canadian citizen who was just 15 years old when he was seized after a firefight in Afghanistan in July 2002, to plead guilty to charges of murder in violation of the laws of war, attempted murder, spying, conspiracy, and providing material support to terrorism, in a plea deal that apparently involves an eight-year sentence, with Khadr serving one more year at Guantánamo before being returned to Canada.

At the heart of the plea deal is a 50-point “Stipulation of Fact” (PDF), signed by Khadr and stating that he “does not have any legal defense to any of the offenses to which he is pleading guilty,” in which, despite his previous protestations to the contrary, he accepted that he threw a grenade that killed Delta Force Sgt. Christopher Speer on the day of his capture, and, moreover, that he was, at the time, an “alien unprivileged enemy belligerent,” who did not have “any legal basis to commit any war-like acts” at all.

As part of the Bush administration’s apparently successful rewriting of international law — facilitated by President Obama and lawmakers in Congress — Khadr was therefore obliged not only to forego further complaints about his age at the time of his capture, and the responsibility of others for indoctrinating him, but also to accept that he had been captured in circumstances in which it was impossible for him to be a legitimate combatant.

 

Pulling the troops out of Afghanistan

30 Oct 2010

Who says hip-hop isn’t political?

 

How Stewart/Colbert mock Fox News America

30 Oct 2010

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

THE LOBBY DEBATE IS A JOKE

NOVANEWS

So in a break from reading the delightful ethnographies of the players in the Israel Lobby littering the comment section in Mondoweiss, I started reading Grant Smith’s homework assignment book, Spy Trade, which asserts that the Israel Lobby and American slavish adherence to Israeli policies is undermining American rule of law and our Proud Traditions. Enough of this. The Lobby pursues Likudnik policies, but the policies that are carried out are in the main imperial policies.

They are class war, best captured by a Gini coefficient rising to third-world levels during the time of strongest support for Israel, from 1967-2001. Keep on trying to convince imperial managers that support for Israel is against their interests. They don’t seem to agree. Zionism shouldn’t be opposed because it’s harming the empire. It should be opposed because it harms Palestinians, while the Lobby gives good cover for imperial policies. Greg Palast explained all of this a long time ago.

Two and a half years and $202 billion into the war in Iraq, the United States has at least one significant new asset to show for it: effective membership, through our control of Iraq’s energy policy, in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Arab-dominated oil cartel.

Just what to do with this proxy power has been, almost since President Bush’s first inaugural, the cause of a pitched battle between neoconservatives at the Pentagon, on the one hand, and the State Department and the oil industry, on the other. At issue is whether Iraq will remain a member in good standing of OPEC, upholding production limits and thereby high prices, or a mutinous spoiler that could topple the Arab oligopoly.

According to insiders and to documents obtained from the State Department, the neocons, once in command, are now in full retreat. Iraq’s system of oil production, after a year of failed free-market experimentation, is being re-created almost entirely on the lines originally laid out by Saddam Hussein.

Under the quiet direction of U.S. oil company executives working with the State Department, the Iraqis have discarded the neocon vision of a laissez faire, privatized oil operation in favor of one shackled to quotas set by OPEC, which have been key to the 148% rise in oil prices since the beginning of 2002. This rise is estimated to have cost the U.S. economy 1.5% of its GDP, or a third of its total growth during the period.

Walla is Palast arguing that analyzing the “U.S. economy” doesn’t help us understand the world very much??

In plotting the destruction of OPEC, the neocons failed to predict the virulent resistance of insurgent forces: the U.S. oil industry itself. From the outset of the planning for war, U.S. oil executives had thrown in their lot with the pragmatists at the State Department and the National Security Council. Within weeks of the first inaugural, prominent Iraqi expatriates-many with ties to U.S. industry-were invited to secret discussions directed by Pamela Quanrud, an NSC economics expert now employed at State.

“It quickly became an oil group,” one participant, Falah Aljibury, told me. Aljibury, an adviser to Amerada Hess’s oil trading arm and to investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, who once served as a back channel between the United States and Iraq during the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, cut ties to the Hussein regime following the invasion of Kuwait.

And then suggesting that oil industry executives actually know how to run their companies? That’s too complicated. Let’s just stick to talking about Douglas Feith’s bar mitzvah.

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on THE LOBBY DEBATE IS A JOKE

ARSON ATTACK BY ZIO=NAZI SETTLERS

NOVANEWS

Iran Condemns Burning of Ancient Church in Occupied Quds (Jerusalem)

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday condemned the arson attack by extremist Jewish settlers on an old church in the Western sector of the occupied Quds.

10-31-10

“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the Zionists’ provocative and sacrilegious act against a historical church in the occupied Quds is another instance of the Zionist regime’s disrespect for divine faiths and religious sanctities,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement also reminded the previous insults to the sacred and holy places of Muslims and Christians by the Zionist regime of Israel, specially Zionists’ measures against Muslims’ the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and reiterated that all these examples prove the regime does not at all feel any respect for divine religions and their believers.

Mehman-Parast further called on the international community to condemn the recent insult to Christians’ ancient church on the occupied territories and adopt immediate measures to stop such desecrations.

A Group of extremist Jewish settlers set a one hundred year old Christian church on fire in the occupied Quds (Jerusalem) on Friday causing substantial damage to its first floor.

Zakaria Al-Mashriqi, a leader in the church, denounced in a press release the “sinful crime” that targets destabilizing relations among heavenly religions and inciting strife in addition to expelling Palestinians from the holy city through such repeated attacks on citizens and their property.

He added that the church was built in al-Quds (Jerusalem) in 1897, and housed the Palestinian Bible College until 1948, when parishioners were pushed out by Jewish armed gangs during the violence accompanying the creation of the state of Israel.

He said that right-wing Israeli settlers broke a number of windows of the two-storey church and hurled Molotov cocktails inside it completely burning the first floor.

Article Source:  Fars News Agency

Posted in EducationComments Off on ARSON ATTACK BY ZIO=NAZI SETTLERS

CAMERON’S PARADISE ALLOWING PRIVATISATION TO RUN WILD

What a damn shame. One private firm that engages in thuggery is shunned by the British government:

The private security firm G4S said tonight that it was “extremely disappointed” to lose a multimillion-pound government contract to forcibly deport foreign nationals.

A decision to award the lucrative contract to a rival firm was announced today, two weeks after G4S guards were arrested by police investigating the death of an Angolan deportee at Heathrow.

The company that will now deport detainees from next year, Reliance Security Task Management Limited, already manages several contracts for the Prison Service.

Three G4S guards were released on bail this month after being questioned over the death of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan who collapsed and died on BA flight 77 as it was preparing to depart for Luanda. G4S said it had received assurances that the failure to renew its contract was related to the price of its bid “and not to recent events”.

But not to worry. According to a recent piece in the Financial Times, business is booming for private companies looking to make a fortune on the misery of others. Disaster capitalism running riot:

To private providers seeking to maximise their advantage from Wednesday’s comprehensive spending review, criminal justice represents an opportunity – despite the axe poised over a £4bn prison-building programme inherited by the government from Labour.

Serco and G4S believe there are still rich pickings to be found in the “offender management” budget of Ken Clarke, justice secretary, not least as he tries to modernise the most Dickensian parts of the prison estate by opening them up to market competition.

Mr Clarke’s need for private investment will be crucial as he struggles to bring about a “rehabilitation revolution” at the same time as taking a hatchet to costs. However, the historic evidence on whether companies have been any better at running prisons than the public sector is hardly compelling.

Ben Crewe and Alison Liebling of Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology have published one of the few in-depth studies to compare the performance of private and public prisons. Their findings highlight some real concerns about privatisation – particularly when spending is being brutally curtailed.

Mr Crewe says that the performance of company-run prisons is extremely variable. At one end of the scale there is Altcourse, the G4S prison that is recognised by some as one of the best in England and Wales. At the other end there is Wolds, another G4S jail that received a damning assessment this year from the chief inspector of prisons for its “considerable weaknesses”, including a rampant drugs culture and lack of confidence by staff to confront bad behaviour.

“The best private prisons are – relatively speaking – very good, particularly in terms of staff-prisoner relationships and prisoner development and well-being,” says Mr Crewe. “However, as the prisons inspector has also noted, the worse-performing ones are poor in most areas: relationships; security; professionalism; use of authority; and prisoner development and well-being.”

The Cambridge research team – given lengthy access to several private and public jails – found that generous contract terms had a clear and positive impact on company-run prisons, with Altcourse a good example of a well-funded jail. But it also found that money was not the only reason that some private prisons performed better than others. Lowdham Grange, a training prison run by Serco, was “very good”, it said, but it had a relatively modest contract.

Mr Crewe warned the fact that private jails tended to use fewer prison guards, often far less experienced than their public sector counterparts, meant there was a real risk of “things going badly wrong”, particularly when companies would be trying to squeeze a profit from cheaper contracts.

Take this as an example:

A private security company plans to start renting out custody cells to police forces across the country in a move it says could save forces more than £400 million a year and help return officers to the streets.

G4S Police Support Services said it hoped to sign its first contract with a police force in November and to start operating the cells by July next year.

The new suites, which will be overseen by police custody sergeants but staffed by G4S employees, will cut costs by centralising facilities, the firm said.

Managing director John Shaw said it will ‘improve the whole experience of custody for everyone’ and ‘cut red tape for police officers, enabling them to return to the beat faster’.

The custody suites were being launched now ‘primarily because of the financial situation’ and they will help to ensure ‘significant cost savings for the public sector’, bring in efficiencies and ‘standardise the way custody is delivered’, he said.


Posted in UK1 Comment

ZIONIST TOLERANCE FOR A CHANGE

NOVANEWS
10/30/2010

Gilad Atzmon

As other dissidents from Judaism and the Jewish supremacist, terrorist state of Israel have pointed out, most “Jewish leftists” aren’t really leftists.  They are not leftists, or socialists, egalitarians, multiculturalists, advocates of diversity and human rights WHEN those things are applied to ISRAEL.

Supposedly they are for these things for everybody else, but what they really seek is tolerance of Jewish extremism.

They don’t dare point out the fact that Israel is RACIAL-RELIGIOUS SUPREMACIST STATE that not only takes away the human rights of non-Jews, if their victims dare to object  — they imprison them, torture them, and bomb and even murder their enemies children. That may sound pretty extreme, but it is true. Facts speak for themselves. One heroic exception, and I do say heroic, is Gilad Atzmon, who has defected from the Jewish Supremacist State and from the Jewish Supremacist power structure of both Zionism and Judaism.

I have spent the last ten years elaborating on Jewish national ideology and tribal politics.  During my journey of grasping what Zionism and Israel stand for, I came to realize that it is actually the Jewish left — and Jewish Marxists in particular — that provide us with an adequate glimpse into contemporary Jewish identity,  tribal supremacy,  marginal politics and tribalism.

‘Jewish left’ is basically an oxymoron. It is a contradiction in terms, because ‘Jewishness’ is a tribal ideology, whilst ‘the left’ are traditionally understood as aspiring to universalism.

On the face of it, the ‘Jewish left’ is, at least categorically, no different from Israel or Zionism: after all, it is an attempt to form yet another ‘Jews only political club’.  And as  far as the Palestinian solidarity movement is concerned, its role is subject to a growing debate — For  on the one hand, one can see the political benefit of pointing at a very few ‘good Jews’, and emphasizing that there are Jews who ‘oppose Zionism as Jews’. Yet on the other hand, however, accepting the legitimacy of such a racially orientated political affair, is in itself, an acceptance of yet another form, or manifestation of Zionism, for Zionism claims that Jews are primarily Jewish, and had better operate politically as Jews(1).

To a certain extent then, it is clear that Jewish anti Zionism, is, in itself, still just another  form of Zionism.

‘Jewish dissidence’ has two main roles: First, it attempts to depict and bolster a positive image of Jews in general (2). Second, it is there to silence and obscure any attempts on the part of the outsider to grasp the meaning of Jewish identity and Jewish politics within the machinations of the Jewish state. It is also there to stop elements in this movement from elaborating on the crucial role of Jewish lobbying.

The Jewish Left is there then, to mute any possible criticism of Jewish politics within the wider Left movements.  It is there to stop the Goyim from looking into Jewish affairs.

A decade ago I met the Kosher dissident brigade for the first time — As soon as I started to  express criticism of Israel and Zionism — they started to  bounce around me.

For a short while, I fitted nicely into their  discourse : I was young  and energetic.   I was an award winning musician, as well as a promising writer. In their eyes I was a celebrity, or at least a good reason to celebrate.  Their chief commissars reserved  the best, and most expensive dining tables ahead  of my Orient House’s  Ensemble concerts. The five grass-root penniless activists, followed the trend and came to my free stage Jazz Combo  afternoon  concerts in the Barbican Centre’s Foyer.  They all wanted to believe that I would follow their agenda, and become a commissar myself.  They were also very quick  to preach to me who were the ‘bad guys’, those who should be burnt in hell: Israel Shahak, Paul EisenIsrael Shamir and Otto Weininger were just a few amongst the many baddies.

As one may guess by now, it didn’t take me too long to admit to myself that there was more wisdom in a single sentence  by Eisen, Weininger, Shahak or Shamir than in the entire work of the Jewish Left  put together. I was quick to make it clear to my new ‘Red’ fans that it was not going to work : I was an ex-Israeli, and I no longer regarded myself as a Jew any more. I shared nothing with them and I did not believe in their agenda.  Indeed, I had left Israel because I wanted to drift as far away as I could from any form of tribal politics.

Paddling in chicken soup has never been  my thing.

Naturally, I bought  myself at least a half a dozen enemies, and they were quick to run a campaign against me. They tried to silence me; they desperately ( and hopelessly ) tried to wreck my music career; they mounted pressure on political institutions, media outlets,  and music venues.  One of them even tried to drag me to court.

But they failed all the way through and they failed on every possible level. The more pressure they mounted, the more people read my writing. At a certain point, people around me were convinced that my detractors were actually running my PR campaign. Moreover, the relentless attempts to silence me could only prove my point. They were there to divert attention away from the crucial role of Jewish politics and Jewish identity politics.

I have asked myself often enough — how is it that they failed with me? But I guess that the same internet that successfully defeated Israeli Hasbara, has also defeated the Jewish left and its hegemony within the movement. In the wider scheme of things, it is totally obvious how marginal the Jewish Marxist discourse is. Its voice within the dissident movement is, in actuality, insignificant.

I guess also, that the fact that I am a popular Jazz artist didn’t make life easy for them — At the time those Jewish commissars labeled me as a racist and an anti Semite, I was touring around the world with two ex Israeli Jews, an Argentinean Jew, a Romanian Gipsy and  a Palestinian Oud player.  It just couldn’t work for them, and it didn’t.

But here is an interesting twist :  In comparison with the contemporaneous  Jewish Red terror, Zionism comes across as a relatively tolerant  endeavour.  In recent months I have been approached by every possible Israeli media outlet. In the summer, Ouvda, the leading Israeli investigative TV show asked repeatedly to join with me and my band on the road. They were interested to  launch a debate, and to discuss my ideas in prime time.  This week, The Israeli Second Channel approached me for a news item.  Again, they were interested in my views. Yesterday, I discussed my views for an hour with Guy Elhanan on Israel’s ‘Kol ha-shalom’ (Voice of Peace).

For the most obvious of reasons, I am very cautious when dealing with the Israeli media.  I choose my outlets very carefully. I usually tend to refuse. But, I also accept that as a person who cares about the prospect of  peace I must keep an open channel with the Israeli public, and two weeks ago I agreed to be interviewed by Haaretz writer,Yaron Frid.  This was my first published interview in Israel for more than a decade. I must admit that I was shocked to find out that not a single word of mine had been removed or censored. Haaretz let me say everything that the Kosher ‘Socialists’ had consistently tried to stop me from saying.

On my ‘self-hatred’ and  Jewishness   the Israeli paper Haaretz let me say :

“I am not a nice Jew, because I don’t want to be a Jew, because Jewish values don’t really turn me on and all this ‘Pour out Thy wrath on the nations’ stuff doesn’t impress me.”

It also let me question the entire Zionist ethos; the reality of plunder and deluded historicism : “Why do I live on lands that are not mine, the plundered lands of another people whose owners want to return to them but cannot? Why do I send my children to kill and be killed, after I myself was a soldier, too? Why do I believe all this bullshit about ‘because it’s the land of our forefathers’ and ‘our patrimony’ if I am not even religious?

And about  Palestinians’ right of return, I said :

“The Israelis can put an end to the conflict in two fucking minutes. Netanyahu gets up tomorrow morning, returns to the Palestinians the lands that belong to them.”

They let me express how I would differentiate between, and define Israel and Palestine:  “Palestine is the land and Israel is the state. It took me time to realize that Israel was never my home, but only a fantasy saturated in blood and sweat.”

About chosen-ness, de-Judification  and Jewish identity I said, “for Netanyahu and the Israelis to do that (accept the Palestinian  right of return), they have to undergo de-Judaization and accept the fact that they are like all peoples and are not the chosen people. So, in my analysis this is not a political, sociopolitical or socioeconomic issue but something basic that has to do with Jewish identity.”

And in the interview I compared Jewish left with National Socialism — And Haaretz’s editorial  let it through: “The idea of left-wing Jews is fundamentally sickening.  It contains an absolute internal contradiction. If you are leftists it doesn’t matter whether you’re Jewish or not, so on principle when you present yourselves as leftist Jews you are accepting the idea of national socialism. Nazism.”

Haaretz, as could be expected, challenged   my  opposition to Jewish politics :    “Atzmon has been accused from every possible platform of disseminating vitriol against Jews. He, though, maintains that he ‘hates everyone in equal measure.’ He’s also been accused of self-hatred, but he is the first to admit this, and in comparison with Otto Weininger – the Austrian Jewish philosopher who converted to Christianity and of whom Hitler said, ‘There was one good Jew in Germany, and he killed himself’ – he is even proud. ‘Otto and I are good friends.’”

But clearly, at least Israelis can cope with Otto Weininger and his ideology. However — when I gave a talk about Otto Weininger in a London Marxist book shop five years ago (Bookmarks), a ‘synagogue’ of fourteen Jewish Marxists unsuccessfully tried to picket the event and to pressure the SWP into submission.

Guess what; they failed.

Haaretz  challenged  my take on the Holocaust; yet it  printed my answer without changing  a single word. “I am fighting against all the disgusting laws and persecutions of those so-called Holocaust deniers – a categorization I don’t accept. I think the Holocaust, like any historical episode, must be open to research, to examination, to discussion and debate.”

And Haaretz, evidently an Israeli Zionist paper, let me express my thoughts about Israeli mass murderers and their destiny. “It might be a good thing if the Nazi hunters hunt down [Shaul] Mofaz and [Ehud] Barak, for example, and not all kinds of 96-year-olds who are barely alive. It’s pathetic.”

It also let me tell Israelis that they are all to be blamed : “In Israel 94 percent of the nation supported Operation Cast Lead. On the one hand, you want to behave like a post-enlightenment state and talk to me about individualism, but on the other hand you surround yourselves with a wall and remain attached to a tribal identity.”

Yaron Frid ended his piece saying, “Israel lost Gilad,” and,   “The score, for now: 1-0, Palestine leading.”

I was happy with the article. But I was also jealous. For here in Britain, we are still far from being free  to explore these issues.

The message here is plain and simple — Haaretz, a  Zionist paper,  has let me discuss all those intellectual avenues that ‘the  Kosher Socialists’ insist on blocking. A week before my Haaretz special, the Israeli paper featured Mavi Marmara hero Ken O’keefe. Again, Haaretz coverage was fairly balanced; certainly more balanced than BBC Panorama.

The moral is clear : As much as Zionism is repugnant and  murderous — it is still way ahead of the Jewish Left , simply because it is still, in some regards at least, part of an ongoing and open discourse.

There is no doubt that amongst the  most prolific enemies of Israel and Jewish identity,  you will find Israelis and ex Israelis, such as Ilan Pappe,  Gideon Levi, Amira Hass, Tali Fahima, Israel Shamir, Israel Shahak,  Nurit Peled , Rami Elhanan Guy Elhanan, Jonathan Shapira, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Mordechai Vanunu,  Uri Avneri, Shimon Tzabar, myself,  and others.

We may not always agree with each other — but we let each other be.

Zionism was an attempt to bring about a new Jew: an ethical, productive and authentic being.  But Zionism failed all the way through. Israel is a criminal state, and the Israelis are collectively complicit in relentless crimes against humanity. And yet, Zionism has also  succeeded  in  erecting  a solid   school of eloquent and proud  ‘self haters’. Israelis are taught to be outspoken  and critical. Unlike the Diaspora Jewish left, that for some reason, operates as a thought-police, Israeli dissidence speaks out. Israelis are trained to celebrate their ‘symptoms’ — and this also applies in the case of dissidence.

Unlike Jewish Marxism that operates  largely as a tribal PR campaign, Israeli dissidence is an ethical approach : You wouldn’t hear Israeli activists  shouting ‘not in my name’.   The Israelis mentioned above do accept that each Israeli crime is committed  in their names. They also accept that activism is the crucial shift from guilt into responsibility.  Hence, it is also far from  surprising that on the ‘Jewish Boat to Gaza’ mission, the Israeli veteran AIF pilot Shapira and also Elahanan, both spoke about ethics and humanitarian issues, while the British Jew, Kuper, was apparently, judging from his words, perhaps more concerned  with the amendment of  the image of world Jewry.

Being an ex Israeli, I believe that the only thing I  can do for Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, myself, my family, my neighbours and humanity — is to stand firm and speak my heart against all odds.

I also believe that we all know the truth.

We just need to be courageous enough to spit it out.

(1) As bizarre as it may sound to some, ‘Jews Against  Zionists’ (JAZ) and ‘Jews for BDS’ (Boycott of Divestment of Israeli Goods) do affirm the Zionist mantra : They operate, primarily, as Jews.  As much as it is impossible for uprooted Palestinians   to settle in Israel and become a citizen with equal civil rights — it is also impossible for them to  join any of the primarily Jewish groups for Palestine.

(2) Richard Kuper,  the person behind ‘Irene-the Jewish Boat to Gaza’, was bold enough to admit it —  “Our goal is to show that not all Jews support Israeli policies toward Palestinians,” he said. It is now an established fact that the Jewish boat carried hardly any humanitarian aid for the Gazans : its main mission, as far as Kuper was concerned, seems to have been to amend Jewish reputation.

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