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Saturday, 26 May 2018

The Strange Case of Philip Cross – Wikipedia’s Mystery Editor and its anti-left, pro Israeli, fake neo-con entries

The Vicious Vendettas of Oliver Kamm – Times Leaderwriter, erstwhile journalist and Cyberstalker

I am combining two stories – what is being termed the Philip Cross Affair and the Vicious Vendettas of one of the most unpleasant people in British journalism, Oliver Kamm.  They intertwine and it may be that Philip Cross is a composite person, whose persona includes that of Kamm.

If we are to believe that “Philip Cross” is a genuine person then he is an amazing person.  He has not had one single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. “He” has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five Christmas Days. That’s 1,721 consecutive days of editing. 
Below is a fascinating article by Craig Murray, who was the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan before he was sacked by Jack Straw.  What was Murray’s offence?  Criticising the regime in Uzbekistan headed by Islam Karimov for its quaint use of torture, in particular the boiling alive of victims.  This criticism was deemed a sackable offence.  It is a measure of the depravity to which New Labour sank, that under Blair and Straw we had extraordinary rendition for torture in Libya and other places and the sacking of Craig Murray for speaking out.

Omer Benjacob in Israel’s Ha'aretz immediately jumps to the defence of Cross, labeling his critics as Kremlin stooges – 

Why Are Russia, WikiLeaks and the British Far Left Out to Get This 'pro-Israel' Wikipedia Editor?

Beneath this article is another, equally fascinating article on the vendettas and stalking of Oliver Kamm.  Kamm’s lack of any discernible talent is only matched by his ego.  I first encountered him 30+ years ago when I gave a talk on Palestine to Oxford University Labour Club.  A fairly right-wing bunch it must be admitted.  Kamm’s contribution, which he later denied, was to ask me how Zionism could be racist when Jews weren’t a race. My response was to suggest that if that were true then the Nazis too weren’t racists since the Jews weren’t a race.  Kamm’s own recollections of my addressing the Club are in an article The fight’s gone out of me in the Jewish Chronicle announcing his overdue resignation from the Labour Party.

A good article describing the dishonesty of Kamm and his method of argumentation is by the Socialist Unity editorial team Oliver Kamm: Smearing Himself…In Person which talks about Kamm’s ‘accidental misrepresentations, inadvertent omissions of fact and what on first sight looks like outright manipulation?’  It is one way of putting it. 
Kramm’s views on our interactions can be gauged from his Harry’s Place article Oliver Kamm, Tony Greenstein, the IRA and musicians
Kamm was an enthusiastic support of Blair and the war in Iraq, supported extraordinary rendition, loves Israel, describes the struggle of oppressed people as ‘terrorism’, was a member of the far-Right cold war and Islamaphobic Henry Jackson Society.  A leader writer on The Times he still says he is ‘left wing’!  He is also a banker and when once I called him a ‘wanker banker’ he accused me of homophobia!  I’m still working it out.
The article by Neil Clark is disturbing because it suggests that he isn’t just a reactionary and narcissistic freak but a genuinely disturbed person who engaged in persistent stalking over a number of years because a  book of his had, in his opinion, not been given a fair review.

The Philip Cross Affair  

Craig Murray
Philip Cross's tweets

UPDATE “Philip Cross” has not had one single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. “He” has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five Christmas Days. That’s 1,721 consecutive days of editing.
133,612 edits to Wikpedia have been made in the name of “Philip Cross” over 14 years. That’s over 30 edits per day, seven days a week. And I do not use that figuratively: Wikipedia edits are timed, and if you plot them, the timecard for “Philip Cross’s” Wikipedia activity is astonishing is astonishing if it is one individual:
The operation runs like clockwork, seven days a week, every waking hour, without significant variation. If Philip Cross genuinely is an individual, there is no denying he is morbidly obsessed. I am no psychiatrist, but to my entirely inexpert eyes this looks like the behaviour of a deranged psychotic with no regular social activities outside the home, no job (or an incredibly tolerant boss), living his life through a screen. I run what is arguably the most widely read single person political blog in the UK, and I do not spend nearly as much time on the internet as “Philip Cross”. My “timecard” would show where I watch football on Saturdays, go drinking on Fridays, go to the supermarket and for a walk or out with the family on Sundays, and generally relax much more and read books in the evenings. Cross does not have the patterns of activity of a normal and properly rounded human being.
There are three options here. “Philip Cross” is either a very strange person indeed, or is a false persona disguising a paid operation to control wikipedia content, or is a real front person for such an operation in his name.
Why does this – to take the official explanation – sad obsessive no friends nutter, matter?
Because the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation is systematically to attack and undermine the reputations of those who are prominent in challenging the dominant corporate and state media narrative. particularly in foreign affairs. “Philip Cross” also systematically seeks to burnish the reputations of mainstream media journalists and other figures who are particularly prominent in pushing neo-con propaganda and in promoting the interests of Israel.
This matters because, an ordinary reader who comes across an article questioning (say) the official narrative on the Skripals, is very likely to turn to Wikipedia to get information on the author of the article. Simply put, the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation is to make certain that if that reader looks up an anti-war person such as John Pilger, they will conclude they are thoroughly unreliable and untrustworthy, whereas if they look up a right wing MSM journalist, they will conclude they are a paragon of virtue and entirely to be trusted.
The “Philip Cross” treatment is meted out not just to left wingers, but to all sceptical of neo-conservatism and who oppose “wars of intervention”. A list of Cross’s victims includes Alex Salmond, Peter Oborne, John Pilger, Owen Jones, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Hayward, Diane Abbott, Neil Clark, Lindsey German, Vanessa Beeley, and George Galloway. As you would expect “Philip Cross” is particularly active in making amendments to the Wikipedia articles of alternative media, and of MSM critique sites. “Philip Cross” has made 36 edits to the Wikipedia entry of The Canary and, staggeringly, over 800 edits on Media Lens. George Galloway remains the “Philip Cross” operation’s favourite target with a quite incredible 1,800 edits.

See also War on the left: Targets of relentless Wikipedia editor Philip Cross report intriguing patterns

I'm launching a crowd-funded legal action for libel and harassment against Oliver Kamm, The Times newspaper and Rupert Murdoch. Here's why: 
 Oliver Kamm-  cyberstalker.
Neil Clark
The author of a-pro Iraq war book sees it critically reviewed in a national newspaper. He then spends over ten years stalking, attacking, hounding and defaming the anti-war author of the review. He even tweets the Minutes of the reviewer’s local parish council meetings in an attempt to discredit his ‘enemy’. He attacks articles written by the wife of the reviewer on the rare occasions she ventures into print. He boasts about his efforts in ‘destroying’ the reviewer’s career in a blog post. 
He tweets obsessively about the 'obscure' reviewer and when the reviewers’ work is cited or praised by someone with a high profile on Twitter, he intervenes to warn them off with  claims that the reviewer is a ‘fake’, a ’fraud’,  a ‘crank’ and a ‘genocide denier‘.
Then, after he is finally questioned under caution of arrest by the police in relation to stalking/harassment activities, the author accuses the person he has been relentlessly persecuting of harassing him- and  falsely claims that his victim has been ordered by the police not to contact him, his family and his employers!
Sounds like pretty disturbing behaviour, don’t you think? I certainly would agree, but as I’ve found out over the past decade,  waging vicious vendettas - and telling lies in an attempt to destroy the reputation of his ‘enemies’ is par for the course for Mr Oliver Kamm, ‘former banker, Leader Writer and Columnist, The Times’ and author of Anti-Totalitarianism-The Left Wing Case for a NeoConservative Foreign Policy’. 
Kamm’s behaviour is a scandal, but even more shocking has been how powerful individuals in the British neocon Establishment have not only protected the Internet stalker, but promoted him.  
My review of Kamm’s book was published by the Daily Telegraph on New Years Eve 2005. It was critical, but as reviews go, not particularly harsh- and certainly nowhere near as harsh as the bile-dripping book reviews that Kamm himself writes for The Times. What I did not know, when I filed copy, was that the book’s author was an incredibly malicious and vindictive individual with a history of cyber-stalking and online persecution of people whose views he disagreed with.
The day after the review appeared, Kamm attacked me on his blog- and accused me of not reading his book. The first of over twenty-five posts devoted to attacking/denigrating me (or my wife) over the next two years, was no mindless rant, but was clearly designed to discredit me with newspapers who commissioned my work. 
In subsequent blog posts that month Kamm made further allegations against me which I responded to on my own blog. I had said that the source for one of my claims in the review was The Institute of Strategic Studies Organisation. I had meant The International Strategic Studies Association. Kamm attempted to build this up into a heinous offence, writing that ‘a reasonable person might readily take this as a reference to the well known International Institute of Strategic Studies’. I think ‘a reasonable person’ would think Kamm was making a mountain out of a molehill in a deliberate attempt to discredit the reviewer of his book.
Kamm’s initial attempts to discredit me didn’t work, but then there was a more sinister development. A poison-pen style email, from a  ‘George Courtenay’ was sent to Tom Switzer, the opinion editor of The Australian newspaper, who regularly commissioned me. The email read: 
 ‘I see you have published an opinion article by Neil Clark today. That's all good to print a range of views but you may be interested that Oliver Kamm of the London Times has been investigating Mr. Clark's use of sources. Mr.Clark doesn't say the same thing in his new article but as he's lied to other editors I'm bringing it to your attention'. 
G. Courtenay

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Understanding the Enemies Tactics - Above all be Emotional – Stress Identity – and don’t deal with the Specifics

The secret report that helps Israel hide facts

Zionist Talking Points – How to Divide, Confuse and Intimidate

Zionists will do almost anything to avoid debating the one and only issue.  The behaviour of and the nature of the Israeli state. It is of course easier to accuse someone of 'antisemitism' than to defend gunning down children or bombing clinics.   The pity is that some people believe them.

Being emotional, using the holocaust is a favourite tactic of course.   Who can forget that young Jewish girl who wept crocodile tears when confronting Norman Finkelstein.  Finkelstein called her fakery out for what it is, which he was able to do so as he knows something about it.

For example with the recent gunning down of 62 Palestinians in Gaza Israel’s only defence is that most of them are members of Hamas.  Well so what if they were?  Would they therefore accept that the gunning down of 62  members of Likud was acceptable if they were not in military fatigues?
The other argument, which is not taken seriously, is that if they had broken through the border (i.e. the walls of the prison) then their very presence in Israel would have been threatening.  Leaving aside that Israel is unique in the world in having no borders just how would unarmed Palestinians pose any sort of physical threat?

Of course they did pose what Israel says is an ‘existentialist’ threat – the very idea of a Return to Israel of the Palestinians is one of the 7 horrors of the world!

I’m reprinting this because it is useful for  those times, like student meetings, when people do get into debate with Zionists.  I have often spoke at for example student union general meetings as a guest speaker.  Apart from the fact that there were usually attempts to prevent me speaking (all of which failed) on grounds of anti-Semitism, I cannot remember a single time when I lost the debate.  Why?  Because when it comes down to it the Zionists don’t have an argument.

That is why the stress is on being emotional, on asking people not to take ‘sides’ (as if the Palestinian ‘side’ is equivalent to the Israeli ‘side’) bring in the bogy of ‘anti-Semitism’ etc.

In other words it is a model guide on how to deceive people

Tony Greenstein

 Anti-divestment talking points: Avoid the facts and claim victimhood
Adam HorowitzApril 15, 2010
The following talking points were distributed on UC Berkeley’s campus in the days leading up to last night’s debate over divestment. Several sources on Berkeley’s campus have confirmed that they had seen them on campus, and that they were adhered to closely by anti-divestment advocates during the debate itself. 

Anti-Divestment Bill: Unifying Strategies for Our Jewish Community

The message: The bill is an attack on our Jewish community. It silences our voices.
DO include in your speech

**End your speech with "Don’t Silence Me" This will have a powerful, unifying impact.**

Keep it very short, about a minute

Unfairly choosing a side, under false pretense, is to shut down a productive and meaningful discussion. This can only cause more tensions and conflict. It takes away OUR voice.

Make it personal, include personal experiences and emphasize feelings of personal attack.

BE EMOTIONAL. Don’t be afraid to show how you feel (angry, sad, etc.)
There will always be dissenters; they don’t represent the voice of the Jewish community.

WE are the voice of the Jewish community at Cal (can refer to all the Jewish student groups that are against the bill – which collectively represent over 500 Jewish students on our campus).

If the issue is so clear, why is it so divisive? This may be one of those occasions when it’s not appropriate for you (the ASUC senators) to decide something for everyone on campus.

The Bill is out of context and based on questionable sources (no need to go into detail). Thus, the bill is in fact an attack on the JEWISH COMMUNITY.
An unjustified attack on Israel is an attack on my Jewish identity. It is attacking ME.

The ASUC and our university have been hijacked by an extremist agenda, through this bill.

A small group of partisans are trying to leverage the reputation of UC Berkeley for their own narrow political purposes. These partisans have NO concern for the bitter divisiveness they have caused on campus.

The voices of the general student body are telling you (through thousands of emails, etc.) – loud and clear – that there is no student consensus outside of these partisan supporters for this bill. The supporters of the bill are demanding that you choose between them and the other 99% of the students you (the ASUC senators) represent.
The ASUC Senators didn’t campaign on this issue so they cannot claim to have an electoral mandate, and every source of data (news stories and opinion pieces in the paper and associated comments, the e-mails they have received, the high-pitched debates) attests to the fact that they cannot claim to be representing a campus consensus or majority.

DO NOT include in your speech

DON’T mention that Israel is being singled out (don’t mention crimes committed by other countries). Don’t suggest divesting from other countries. It is a weak argument and implies that Israel has committed war crimes.

DON’T try to deconstruct the bill. DON’T focus on addressing the fallacies/specifics of the bill.

Instead, focus on how it is an attack on the Jewish community.

AVOID a debate on the Middle East. Supporters of the bill would like to argue on this platform.

Yad Vashem – Israel’s Holocaust Propaganda Museum Refuses to Speak Out Against Deportation Threat to Refugees

Yad Vashem’s Loud Silence Amid Israel's Deportations of Asylum Seekers

Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum was established by law in 1953. From the start it was intended to be integral to Israel’s propagandistic use of the Holocaust in its war against the Palestinians and as justification for the State’s existence. Even the title ‘Martyrs' and Heroes Remembrance (Yad Vashem) Law’ is evidence of a determination to rewrite the history of the Holocaust from a Zionist perspective. The Holocaust became Israel’s foundational myth.
John Vorster, Prime Minister of Apartheid South Africa, who was interned for Nazi sympathies in war, lays wreath to the Holocaust dead in Yad Vashem

Those who died were victims of fascism and genocidal racism. They were neither heroes nor martyrs and they would not have seen themselves as such. They were innocents who were murdered as a consequence of an ideology that became a material force of its own, a state that was based on racial supremacy and a murderous eugenics.  To portray those who died as martyrs and heroes in the battle for the Israeli state, which is what this law says, is to co-opt the Holocaust dead posthumously into the Zionist movement.  Given that Zionism was a minority movement in every Jewish community in Europe, this is to show contempt and disdain for those whose memories are being harnessed to a state which is based on the very same principles that led to their murder.
If anyone is doubtful as to the above then they need only look at section 1.8 of the law which stipulates that Yad Vashem should commemorate ‘the unceasing efforts of the besieged to reach Eretz Israel in spite of all obstacles, and the devotion and heroism of their brothers who went forth to liberate and rescue the survivors.’  This is called rewriting Holocaust history and it is no different from those who deny the Holocaust outright. It is Zionism's foundational Holocaust myth.  It uses the Holocaust as a weapon in the Zionist armoury.
Michael Kaminski of Poland's Law & Justice Party is in Yad Vashem's Hall of Names - Kaminski was also a founder of the Committee to Establish the Good Name of Jedwabne, a village in Eastern Poland where 1600 Jews were herded into a barn by fellow Poles, which was then set alight
Those who tried to escape from the Nazis tried to escape to any destination which would have them.  Palestine was neither the first nor the only destination.  Some 60,000 Jews out of a total of 446,000 Jews who escaped from the Reich territories between May 1933 and December 31 1939 went to Palestine, i.e. less than one in seven. [American Jewish Yearbook 1940-1] What the YV Law doesn’t say is that the Zionist movement did all in its power, including lobbying the Gestapo, in order to ensure that Jewish refugees only went to Palestine. [see for example Francis Nicosia, Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany, p. 168]
In the words of Israeli historian and journalist Tom Segev, Yad Vashem is a ‘bizarre cult of memory, death and kitsch’. [Segev, The Seventh Million, p.11] a ‘macabre worship of death.’ [Amos Elon, The Israelis – Founders and Sons, p. 208]
As Professor Idith Zertal of the Hebrew and Bael Universities wrote in Israel’s Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood (p.100):
‘The transference of the Holocaust situation on to the Middle East reality… not only created a false sense of the imminent danger of mass destruction. It also immensely distorted the image of the Holocaust, dwarfed the magnitude of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, trivializing the unique agony of the victims and the survivors, and utterly demonizing the Arabs and their leaders.’
You might therefore think that the first organisation in Israel to speak out against Netanyahu’s attempt to deport 40,000 Black Africa refugees to death and torture would be Yad Vashem.  After all what is the point of Holocaust memorial museum unless it seeks to draw conclusions about what happened during the Holocaust for humanity's behaviour today? Perhaps the most obvious of all lessons of the Holocaust was that if the Western countries, in particular the United States, had open their doors, far fewer Jews would have died.
The Kindertransport - 10,000 Jewish children from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia arrive in London - the Zionists opposed their entry
Even as devoted an Israel apologist like Alan Dershowitz in comments to ILTV Daily agreed that “The whiff of racism can’t be avoided when you have a situation where 40,000 people of color are the ones who are being deported en masse, without being individualized and every single case considered on its merits,”
Yet Yad Vashem has remained silent.  It has refused to openly oppose Netanyahu’s racist plans.  It has issued a few meal mouthed platitudes whilst reminding people that the Holocaust must not be compared with anything, in other words it has no lessons to draw from the genocide of the Jews.
Yad Vashem is on the itinerary of all foreign dignitaries to Israel, including fascists and neo-Nazis. In April 1976 Yad Vashem welcomed John Vorster, Prime Minister of South Africa, who was interned during the war for Nazi sympathies. It has played host to a variety of far-Right and anti-Semitic politicians, from Heinz Strache of Austria to Michal Kaminsky of Poland’s Law & Justice Party and Robert Ziles of Latvia’s LNNK. Israel Shahak, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and Belsen-Bergen concentration camp wrote, 
Of the Yad Vashem… theatre, I do not wish to speak, at all. It, and its vile exploiting, such as honouring South Africa collaborators with the Nazis are truly beneath contempt.[Kol Hair, 19 May 1998, Jerusalem].
The real purpose of Holocaust awareness ‘is not at an understanding of the past, but a manipulation of the future’. [Boaz Evron, (1983) “Holocaust: The Uses of Disaster’, Radical America 17, No. 4]. No other group is allowed to claim a share of the “credit”. At the centre of this manipulation stands Yad Vashem.
Holocaust awareness and ‘the culture of victimization’ allowed a Jewish victim identity to become dominant at the same time as anti-Semitism was disappearing. [The Holocaust in American Life, Peter Novick, Houghton Mifflin, 1999, New York, p.190. See Review: Deconstructing Holocaust Consciousness, Joseph Massad, JPS, Vol. 32 No. 1 p.82].  In its place the ‘new anti-Semitism’ i.e. anti-Zionism emerged as a substitute.

Even though Yad Vashem has rejected any comparison between the distress of the refugees in Israel and persecuted Jews in Europe during the Holocaust, they also found it appropriate to make a limp statement about asylum seekers here

Alon Harel, Uriel Procaccia , Ha’aretz
FILE PHOTO: Asylum seekers protest against deportation in Tel Aviv, Israel, February 24, 2018.Meged Gozani
On June 26, 1941, the German army entered Vilnius, accompanied by Reinhard Heydrich’s Einsatzkommando killing squads, elite units of sorts that were in charge of exterminating Jews, Roma Gypsies, homosexuals and Communists.

The broad range of those destined for extermination symbolized the Nazis’ commitment to Aryan racial purity, in their readiness to rid themselves not only of the lower strata of the human race but also of leftists and of those whose sexual orientation didn’t find favor among high-ranking officials of the regime.
Miron Abeliovich, the grandfather of one of this piece’s two authors, Uriel, was among those murdered, eliminated along with all of the other members of his household in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Many members of Alon’s family lived in the Free City of Danzig, whose conquest by the Nazis served as a springboard for the Hitler regime’s goal of cleansing the city of Catholic believers and more generally to subjugate the Slavic peoples to the superior race. The murder of Alon’s family following the occupation of Danzig, with the outbreak of World War II, was no more than a footnote in the larger Nazi plan for the city.
Between 1939 and 1945, the United States gave asylum on its territory to only about 250,000 Jewish refugees, roughly a thousandth of the American population at the time. Other Western countries were not more forthcoming. So, for example, when the details regarding the anti-Semitic wave of destruction on Kristallnacht in November 1938 became known, a plan was developed to allow for the settlement of 15,000 persecuted Jews in Australia over the course of three years, but the gates of the country remained closed to any additional Jewish refugees. Those refused admission to all of those countries remained in or returned to the European inferno, and many of them were killed in the Holocaust.
The above paragraphs describe episodes of Holocaust history that are seemingly unrelated to each other, but there is a common thread that runs through them. The first few paragraphs demonstrate the obvious, that human evil can be directed not only against our own people but against anyone whom the regime wishes to deprive of their rights. The fifth paragraph, regarding restrictions on immigration at the time, show that the evil and cruelty of passive actors sometimes are no better than those of active players.
Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, the central institution entrusted with the sacred memory of the Holocaust and the lessons that should be forever drawn from it, acknowledges some of these lessons on its website.
In its section on the Righteous Among the Nations, non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust, Yad Vashem quotes the moving remarks of Elie Wiesel, who wrote, “Let us remember: What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor but the silence of the bystander. Let us not forget, after all, there is always a moment when moral choice is made. And so we must remember these good people who helped Jews during the Holocaust.”
And yet, when we face a similar reality of asylum seekers in Israel who are begging for their lives and, who, based on most accounts, can expect torture, theft, rape and even death in the countries where they are due to be sent, Yad Vashem issued a statement declaring that it is inappropriate and dangerous to compare the situation of the Jews during the Holocaust with Israel’s policy regarding those seeking residency status in the country now.
Indeed, how can they be compared? During the Holocaust, those being persecuted were our own people, whereas at the present time, they are only those of African background “seeking residency.”
FILE PHOTO: World leaders gather in the Hall of Names in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, March 16, 2005.AP
During the Holocaust, the gates of Switzerland, Britain and other countries were shut, while now it is the gates of our own country. But despite the fact that the leaders of Yad Vashem have rejected any comparison between the distress of the refugees in Israel and persecuted Jews in Europe during the Holocaust, they also found it appropriate to make a limp statement about asylum seekers here, saying that their situation involves a “national and international challenge that requires empathy, compassion and mercy.”
“The experience of the Jewish people over generations heightens this obligation,” the statement continued. “The authorities in Israel must make every effort so that there is no person who arrived in Israel with a sword over his neck that did not receive refugee status.”
More than a month ago, while the controversy was seething, we approached the administration of Yad Vashem and asked for an interpretation and clarification regarding the call for “compassion.”
We asked what the leaders of the institution believed was or was not possible to do in the concrete case of asylum seekers at the present time.
We also asked what Yad Vashem’s position was regarding the masses of asylum seekers, which is nearly all of them, who have not received refugee status.
Does Yad Vashem believe that they should be given such status? Is it prepared not to be “a bystander” in the face of the government’s policy not to grant refugee status to almost any of these large numbers of persecuted people?
We have implored Yad Vashem to fulfill its moral and historic mission and to raise a hue and cry that the honorable interior minister would have difficulty ignoring. It is in fact easy for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to ignore demands for justice from those whom it deems “Jew haters,” and it probably even derives sweet pleasure from that as well.
On the other hand, ignoring a strong demand by an institution that is a symbol of the catastrophe that befell our people and that also has, it must be admitted, material value in our relations with the nations of the world, is much more difficult.
We have warned the good people at Yad Vashem, who drag every dignitary to visit the institution, who rub shoulders with them and curry their sympathies. And we have explained that if Yad Vashem refrains from dealing with this urgent issue, it could, in one fell swoop, lose its legitimacy as a universal moral beacon and instead be perceived in the eyes of the world as an ethnocentric faction whose only interest is the Jewish people and its ability to engender feelings of guilt among non-Jews.
To date, we have not managed to obtain a response to our inquiry.
Alon Harel is a professor of law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Uriel Procaccia a professor of law at Tel Aviv University.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Israeli Democracy in Action - Israeli Police Thugs Attack Haifa anti-war demonstration

21 Israeli Palestinians arrested as Police break the leg of Jafar Farah, a Human Rights Worker

In the words of Ahmed Tibi, a member of Ta’al and the Joint List in the Knesset, Israel is a democratic state for Jews but a Jewish state for Arabs.  Perhaps this should be corrected to acknowledge that for Jewish opponents of Zionism Israel is also becoming less democratic.

Last Friday 18th May, in response to Israel’s premeditated murder of over 60 Palestinians in Gaza, Israeli Palestinians held a small demonstration in the city of Haifa.
Instead of protecting the demonstration from the usual right-wing thugs, Israeli police launched a savage attack on it and the democratic rights of Arab citizens of Israel, thus demonstrating that equality between Jew and Arab in Israel is purely theoretical.
The Times of Israel report Activists say police broke knee of Arab-Israeli arrested at protest in Haifa quotes Ayman Odeh condemning not only the “brutal dispersal” of the demonstration but the police conduct during a demonstration of some 200 people on Monday against the move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A number of MKs from the Joint List took part, including Odeh. 
“The wild attack on us by police in Jerusalem and the attack and arrest of the demonstrators in Haifa, over claims that raising the Palestinian flag constitutes incitement, is untrue and also illegal.” 
According to reports in the Hebrew-language media, Odeh confronted police officers on Saturday outside the Bnai Zion Medical Center where Farah was being treated, calling one of them a “zero.”

Zionist Union MK Merav Michaeli also condemned the Friday incident, calling Farah “a partner in the struggle for equality and peace.” In a tweet, the opposition lawmaker said his treatment at the hands of police was “frightening,” and vowed she would demand an explanation from Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan next week.
19 demonstrators were arrested and one, Jafah Farah, had his knee broken by the Police in custody. There can be no doubt about this since he was filmed walking when being arrested. Jafah is the CEO of the Mossawa Advocacy Center For Arab Citizens In Israel.
The UN Human Rights Council last Friday also called for an Inquiry into the shootings, which Israel rejected calling the Council biased etc.  No doubt they were also anti-Semitic.  The EU also made a mild call for an investigation into the arrests in Haifa, a call instantly rejected by Gilad Erdan, the Public Security Minister and an arch hawk.  Erdan it was who described Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan , a maths teacher who was murdered in January 2017 by Police, in the Bedouin village of Umm al Hiran in the Negev, as a ‘terrorist’.  Police had been protecting bulldozers which had been sent in to demolish the village to make way for a new Jewish town when they opened fire on his car, which then rolled into the police line killing one member. Even the subsequent Shin Bet inquiry couldn’t substantiate the false claim of Erdan and the Police.
Jafar Farah being led away under arrest - he had no difficulty walking whilst under arrest
The EU also called on Israel to cancel the deportation order on the Director of Human Rights Watch in Israel, Omar Shakir.  His ‘crime’ was having supported BDS as a student. Only in the ‘democratic’ State of Israel do people get deported because of their ideological views. As representative of HRW stated“Compiling dossiers on and deporting human rights defenders is a page out of the Russian or Egyptian security services’ playbook.”
None of this stopped Israel’s fascist Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beteinu, from attacking the head of the Joint List in the Knesset, the third largest bloc, which represents Israeli Arabs.  Every day that Ayman Odeh is not in prison is a failure of law enforcement,”  Apparently Odeh, who the Police fired a rubber bullet at during the demolition of Umm al-Hiran in January 2017, had cursed the Police watching over Jafar in the hospital.  In the minds of this racist thug (only in Israel can someone found guilty of assaulting a child – a Jewish child no less in the settlements - become a senior government minister) beating someone up and breaking their leg in custody is far less serious than cursing the police who carried out this act.
The greater significance of what happened in Haifa is that it shows that Israeli ‘democracy’ for its Arab citizens is non-existent. Israel is a security state and when military actions are undertaken against the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, there is a consensus from the Zionist right to left, Likud to Yesh Atid and the Israeli Labour Party that you don’t query the Israeli military. Anyone who disturbs that consensus can expect to be violently dealt with. Gilad Erdan proclaimed, of course that Israel was ‘"the only democracy in the Middle East (and) does not need moralistic warning calls from a biased and obsessive body like the EU."
In a democracy of course the Police do not violently attack demonstrations, beating up the participants and then breaking their legs, to say nothing of keeping those detained in handcuffs over night.  However Israel is a democracy of a special kind.
Tony Greenstein

21 Israeli Arabs Arrested During Haifa Protest Against Gaza Killings

Dozens participated in the protest, in which many were carrying Palestinian flags; head of NGO advocating for Arab citizens' rights claims police attacked him while detained
Police gather for an attack
Noa Shpigel and Jack Khoury, May 19, 2018 7:42 PM
Twenty-one Israeli Arabs protesting the killing of Gazans were arrested Friday in the northern Israeli city of Haifa. Dozens participated in a demonstration in the city's lower commercial area. Police said those arrested were suspected of public disorder offenses. Protesters held up Palestinian flags, according to reports.
The organizers of the demonstration, a group of young activists, decided to hold it without a permit. The call to protest was spread across social networks, and its exact location was given two hours before it started. Some activists were warned prior to the protest not to participate in it, according to the organizers. One of the activists was interrogated last week after a similar protest and was sent home for a three-day house arrest.
Police said it will let the demonstration "continue and allow the public to fulfill the right to protest and free speech, in accordance to the caveats and instructions of the law, but will prevent any attempt to disrupt the public order and endanger the safety and security of the public."
One of the activists who was detained during the protest is the CEO of the Mossawa Advocacy Center For Arab Citizens In Israel, Jafar Farah. Farah's relatives and Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, accused the police Saturday of breaking his leg while he was under arrest. The police said they cannot provide details about his medical condition, but that the case will be looked into.
In a video from the scene, Farah can be seen being escorted away from the protest by policemen. On Saturday, he was hospitalized in Haifa. Police said that "one of the detainees was taken to a checkup at the hospital after he claimed he was injured in his leg," and the Bnei Zion hospital in the city confirmed that Jafar was hospitalized but said that due to medical immunity, more details regarding his condition could not be disclosed.
Chairman of the Joint List, Ayman Odeh, who met the detainees at the police station said
"police forces brutally oppressed the protest without any explanation. Netanyahu's government wants to silence any voice of resistance and dissent coming from here, to silence any voice that embarrasses it and its actions. I am full of appreciation for the protesters tonight and the immense sacrifice of the detainees. No police brutality will succeed in silencing us."
MK Aida Touma-Suleiman (a member of Hadash, one of the parties making up the Joint List) also spoke up against the arrests of participants in Friday's demonstration, saying that "the attempts to scare and silence people will fail again!"
"The violence exerted on protesters was unchecked. Interrogators continued to beat up the detainees after they were arrested without any explanation or justification. As a result, some of them were injured. Jafar Farah's leg was broken. All this happened while they postponed the detainees' meeting with a lawyer and withheld medical care from them, all in order to prevent the documentation of the recklessness with which the police behaved," she said.
MK Touma-Suleiman also called for the opening of an investigative committee that would look into the police's conduct in those arrests.
Jafar Farah getting arrested at a Haifa protestHaaretz/ YouTube
In a statement released in response to the arrests, Adalah said the police dealt with the demonstration “like a war.” Adalah accused the police of closing in on the demonstrators, beating and arresting those who attempted to escape, and denying detainees from meeting with lawyers for over an hour after their arrest.
“All the detainees were handcuffed for the entire night and kept sitting on the police station floor. Many of them experienced serious bruising to their wrists. Adalah considers these arrests to be illegal, as the police violence in Haifa was unprecedented and unprovoked,” the group wrote, calling for the release of the detainees.
Around 1,000 Gazans gathered Friday around the Israel-Gaza border for the eighth weekly protest in the "March of Return." Dozens got close to the fence, burning tires and threw rocks. Israel Defense Forces responded with tear gas and occasional gunfire. 56 were wounded in the protest, 25 of which by live gunfire, the Gaza Health Ministry reported.
The UN Human Rights Council on Friday called for an international inquiry into the state of human rights in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Jerusalem blasted the decision and the council as being biased against Israel.

Israeli Minister Blasts 'Biased and Obsessive EU Over Calls to investigate Police Brutality

European Union calls on Israel to investigate violence against Arab activist, urges Jerusalem to revoke deportation of local Human Rights Watch representative

Noa Landau
  May 22, 2018 12:49 PM
The European Union condemned the Israeli police's crackdown on Israeli Arab protesters in Haifa after they demonstrated against the high death toll at the border with Gaza on the day of the dedication of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. The demand prompted the anger of Israel's police minister.
As many as 21 activists were detained by police following the march in Haifa, including the head of the Mossawa Advocacy Center Jafar Farah, who was allegedly injured after being arrested by police.
In the statement, the EU also said it was important Israel conducts "a swift investigation into circumstances surrounding events last week in Haifa which appeared to result in serious injury of Jafar Farah, Director of the NGO Mossawa, the Advocacy Centre for Arab Citizens in Israel".
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan responded to the EU's demand, saying that "Israel, as the only democracy in the Middle East, does not need moralistic warning calls from a biased and obsessive body like the EU."
Erdan also called out what he called the "hypocritical campaign of persecution against Israel and the attempt to stain its good name. I suggest the EU not get involved in Israel's internal matters."
In the meantime, the police have questioned under caution the police officer involved in the arrest.
"The European Union continues to stand for an open and conducive environment for civil society, within Europe, in Israel, the occupied Palestinian territory and around the world," the statement said.
The EU called on Israel to reverse its decision to revoke the work visa of Mr Omar Shakir, the local director of Human Rights Watch who was accused of anti-Israel activities and involvement in the BDS movement.
In a mildly worded statement issued on Tuesday, the EU says it "expects the Israeli authorities to reverse their decision, as otherwise Israel would join a very short list of countries which have barred entry to, or expelled, Human Rights Watch staff".
Omar Shakir, a U.S. citizen who previously worked for the New York-based rights group in Egypt and Syria, was given two weeks to leave the country when he was notified of the revocation of his visa on May 7. Fifteen Israeli human rights organizations immediately condemned the move at the time.
Criticizing the decision of Israel's Interior Ministry, Human Rights Watch quoted a representative of the organization as saying that “Compiling dossiers on and deporting human rights defenders is a page out of the Russian or Egyptian security services’ playbook.”
Interior Minister Arye Dery said the decision was based on a recommendation from the Strategic Affairs Ministry, which had collected information about Omar Shakir.
In March 2017, Israel passed an amendment to its Entry into Israel law, empowering the authorities to refuse entrance to those they claim to be activists in the BDS movement. Shakir, however, would be the first one to be deported rather than being denied entry to the country on the backdrop of the law.

Every Day That Lieberman Is Defense Minister

With their anti-Arab incitement, Avigdor Lieberman and his cabinet colleagues are helping to march Israel confidently into a Judeo-nationalist future

Haaretz Editorial   May 22, 2018 1:18 AM
 “Every day that Ayman Odeh is not in prison is a failure of law enforcement,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said of the chairman of the Joint List, the third largest bloc in the Knesset. Interior Minister Gilad Erdan — who lost no haste in pronouncing Yakub Abu al-Kian, who was shot dead by police in Umm al-Hiran, a terrorist — quickly joined in. He announced that he would ask the attorney general to launch a criminal investigation against Odeh, who cursed out a police officer at the hospital where Jafar Farah, the director of Mossawa Center, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, was being treated while under arrest in connection to a protest in Haifa.
Lieberman — whose ongoing public career is the real failure of law enforcement — and Erdan — whose right-wing street cred has suffered as a result of what has been seen as his inadequate support for Benjamin Netanyahu during the investigations of the prime minister — illustrate just how grave the situation has become in Israel, which is marching confidently into a Judeo-nationalist future. These cynical politicians know that in today’s Israel, the easiest and safest way to drum up public support is through racist incitement, which has no place in a democratic country. That is how they chose to respond to a small demonstration of Arab citizens protesting the killing at the border of the Gaza Strip.
Erdan and Lieberman simply learned a lesson in dangerous cynicism from their leader. One of Netanyahu’s great successes is in persuading the majority of Israeli Jews that the country’s Arab citizens — who account for around 20 percent of the population — are a fifth column that must not under any circumstances express solidarity with their Palestinian brethren or criticize the government.
The frequent assertions according to which the Joint List’s lawmakers should limit themselves to civil matters, such as “infrastructure and education,” constitute political suppression and outright racism couched as rationalist argument. Citizens in a democratic state may and should engage with their national identity and are permitted to criticize the government and to demonstrate against it. Israel has a duty to find ways to contain the complex relationship of Israel’s Arab citizens to the state and it must demonstrate sensitivity, particularly during moments of escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The claims regarding the behavior of Odeh, who was prevented from visiting Farah, who was injured at the demonstration, fall into that category of racism and distortion of the truth. Given the brutal suppression by police of a demonstration by minority members, focusing on Odeh’s curses creates a false symmetry in the equation of violence. Odeh and the Arabs are the victims of the state, not the other way around.
Any citizen who seeks to live in a democracy should be disturbed by the wanton, racist incitement by Israel’s leadership against the Arabs.