“A visit to Oxford Street, London”

October 27, 2003

CONTENTS

1. "The opposing view" (By Alan Dershowitz, The Sunday Times of London - Week in Review, October 26, 2003)
2. "Loathsome" (By Melanie Philips October 11, 2003)
3. A visit to Oxford Street, London
4. "Iranian spies roam Britain 'to locate synagogues for attack by al-Qa'eda'" (Sunday Telegraph, October 26, 2003)
5. "Holocaust memorial firm is linked to Zyklon B" (London Times, October 27, 2003)



[Note by Tom Gross]

I attach several articles from the British press. As usual, the headlines from today say it all. The Guardian: "Death of a town." The Independent: "Rafah, a buffer zone of rubble where families have to live on a football field." The Times: "Israel's great divide redraws occupied lands" (accompanying the article was a large photo, with the caption "Israel's security fence - villagers complain they are living in a cage.") And even the headline in the British newspaper which is supposedly most fair to Israel, the Daily Telegraph, today reads "Israel creates 'world's most scenic prison'"

This week's issue of the Spectator, the influential right-leaning British magazine owned by the Daily Telegraph, carries an article by Sholto Byrnes praising Malaysian President Mahathir as "the very model of a moderate Muslim leader" who should be welcomed by the West. "We should cherish the likes of Dr Mahathir," writes Byrnes.

Yesterday, the Sunday Times of London reprinted the recent article from the New York Review of Books by Professor Tony Judt, advocating the end of Israel. (Judt is an English Jew who teaches at New York University.) They also gave a small box to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, to respond. I attach that response below, as well as another article criticizing Judt, "Loathsome," by British commentator Melanie Philips.

On a more positive note for Israel, the Guardian's Israel correspondent, Chris McGreal, admits in today's paper: "The [Israeli] army's claim that tunnels [between Egypt and Gaza] exist is not in doubt. Some of those uncovered are quite sophisticated, with wooden panelling, lighting and even phone lines linking the two ends." Amazingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, many other European journalists have doubted the existence of Arafat's weapons smuggling tunnels.

I attach four items connected to Britain and the US, and one article ("Holocaust memorial firm is linked to Zyklon B") concerning Germany. There are summaries first for those of you who don't have time to read these articles in full.

1. "The opposing view" (By Alan Dershowitz, The Sunday Times of London - Week in Review, October 26, 2003). "One of the greatest barriers to Middle East peace is the increasing rejection - among some Palestinians, a few Israelis and some international academics - of the two-state solution and its replacement by the idea of a single secular bi-national state... The one-state proposal flies in the face of modern history. Lebanon tried to unite Christians and Muslims into one state and the experiment ended in fratricidal bloodshed. The former Yugoslavia was a one-state solution to a region with many ethnicities. It ended in genocide. In the 1930s a leader aspired to a one-state solution for all of Europe: Adolf Hitler... The decades of conflict between Arabs and Jews cannot be papered over by a legal document creating a single government for two distinct peoples with a history of mutual antagonism... This proposal [by Judt and others] is a more subtle way of achieving by law and demography what Hamas seeks to achieve by terrorism: the end of Israel. Moreover, any Palestinian state would end up an Islamic state... It is proposterous to say, as Judt does, that Israel is "an oddity among modern nations" because Jews are "above others". Jordanian law forbids a Jew from becoming a citizen. In no Arab or Muslim country are non-Muslims equal citizens. Israeli Arabs are better off - as measured by longevity, healthcare, legal rights, even religious liberty - than other Arabs in the Middle East."

2. "Loathsome" (By Melanie Philips October 11, 2003). "There is a truly disgusting essay by Professor Tony Judt in the New York Review of Books. He argues for the destruction of Israel. The very idea of a Jewish state, he sneers, is a 19th century anachronism. No mention of the anachronistic situation that led to the creation of a Jewish state -- that medieval hatred of the Jews remained so prevalent across the world, with no country prepared to take them in after World War Two, that a state of their own was the only way of guaranteeing their safety... No mention of the fact that -- far from a state composed of Europeans -- half of Israel's population were refugees from Arab countries which persecuted them. And no mention of the fact that the Arab states are 'Judenrein', as would be the putative state of Palestine -- which for Judt would not qualify, it appears, as an anachronism... He's personally okay, of course, because he inhabits a world 'where more and more of us have multiple elective identities and would feel falsely constrained if we had to answer to just one of them'. Well, that may be just terrific for the senior common room of New York University, but possibly not quite so appealing for those Israeli Jews whose 'multiple identities' didn't work out so well in Cairo or Cracow..."

3. A visit to Oxford Street, London. "I Wish 80 or 90 Jews Would Die" (By Carol Gould, October 22, 2003). [This piece comes from a British Jewish website; the author was a senior drama executive at Anglia TV, the independent local TV network for the East Anglia region of England]. She writes: "On Thursday evening we went to Marks & Spencer department store. On the way, the bus conductor wanted it known to the passengers that he was Moroccan. He went from seat to seat making a point of greeting passengers in Arabic, and animatedly chatting with women in traditional Muslim clothes... as we approached Oxford Street he went to the front of the bus and told those of us seated at that end of the vehicle that "Marks and Spencer sell things and then send the money to the Jewish." ... The bus driver, a white-haired London Buses oldtimer of decades standing, leaned out of his cab and with considerable irritation lectured the conductor on the history of the Holocaust and of the "Jewish." As we were leaving the bus I could hear the driver and conductor arguing, the latter reminding the Englishman that all Marks and Spencer money goes to the "Zionist murderers... We then found ourselves in Oxford Street and outside "M&S" as it is affectionately known, was a contingent of policemen and women who were protecting a small group of young Jewish men who had set up a table with an Israeli flag. The men were further protected by a substantial metal barrier, to separate them from what can only be described as an hysterical crowd of hate-filled people of every shape and size. What was so depressing was that non-Arabs in the noisy crowd outnumbered those from the Middle East... When I asked this otherwise charming English pair where they had learned the word "apartheid" in relation to Israel they said they had read about it in The Independent and had seen "atrocities on the BBC.")... One woman in religious Muslim attire standing next to me -- actually jumping up and down -- screamed at the top of her voice to the Israel supporters, "You Jews destroyed my country, Iraq." Someone asked her what Israel had to do with Iraq and she screeched "You killed sixty of my family in Iraq." She was asked how sixty Iraqis were killed by Israelis and she said "Israel -USA! Same thing! And now you will take over Iran!" She became so agitated that she had to be led away by the police. [The rest of this piece is attached below]

4. "Iranian spies roam Britain 'to locate synagogues for attack by al-Qa'eda'" (By David Bamber, Home Affairs Editor, Sunday Telegraph, October 26, 2003). This article appears almost two weeks after I sent news about this on this email list. "Iranian spies have been photographing synagogues and other Jewish buildings in Britain, seemingly in preparation for terrorist attacks. MI5, British the security service, and Special Branch officers have discovered Iranians photographing such buildings in London and the Home Counties for some time, with an upsurge of activity over the past two months. Up to 20 Iranians, most studying here legally as students at universities, are involved in the surveillance and two men have been asked to leave the country as a result... In August, it was revealed that Hadi Soleimanpour, the former Iranian ambassador to Argentina, had been arrested in Britain on an extradition warrant from Buenos Aires. He is wanted in connection with the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994 which killed 85 people..."

5. "Holocaust memorial firm is linked to Zyklon B" (London Times, October 27, 2003). "Work has been halted on Germany's national Holocaust memorial after it emerged that one of the companies supplying materials had links to the production of chemicals used in Nazi gas chambers. Degussa AG, which won the contract to coat the structure with anti-graffiti protection, has been identified as part-owner of the company that produced Zyklon B gas, which was used to kill inmates in concentration camps. Building of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, near the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, began last month... It is due to be completed in 2005..."

 



FULL ARTICLES

THE OPPOSING VIEW BY ALAN DERSHOWITZ

The opposing view: from leading Jewish American lawyer Alan Dershovitz
The Sunday Times of London - Review
October 26, 2003

One of the greatest barriers to Middle East peace is the increasing rejection - among some Palestinians, a few Israelis and some international academics - of the two-state solution and its replacement by the idea of a single secular bi-national state.

The two-state solution has already been accepted by the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, and it remains the best hope. The one-state proposal flies in the face of modern history. Lebanon tried to unite Christians and Muslims into one state and the experiment ended in fratricidal bloodshed. The former Yugoslavia was a one-state solution to a region with many ethnicities. It ended in genocide. In the 1930s a leader aspired to a one-state solution for all of Europe: Adolf Hitler.

Were a one-state solution to be imposed on Israel and Palestine, there would be a constant struggle for demographic superiority. Every death would be seen as a victory by the other side and every birth as a defeat. The decades of conflict between Arabs and Jews cannot be papered over by a legal document creating a single government for two distinct peoples with a history of mutual antagonism.

Many, though not all, of those who advocate a single-state solution have in mind a state that would eventually be dominated by Palestinian Arabs. This proposal is a more subtle way of achieving by law and demography what Hamas seeks to achieve by terrorism: the end of Israel. Moreover, any Palestinian state would end up an Islamic state. The constitution of the Palestinian Authority establishes Islam as the official religion of Palestine.

In a world with numerous Muslim states, there is surely room for one Jewish state. Moreover, Israel is in fact, if not in theory, already a secular bi-national state. Its people are largely secular and the Orthodox Jewish rabbinate affects primarily the small number of Israelis who are conservative or reform Jews. Israel is more secular than any other Middle East state and any other Muslim state. It is also a bi-national state. Its 1.25m Arabs are full citizens with representation in the Knesset and on the Supreme Court. Arabic is an official Israeli language and Arabs have more rights there than anywhere in the Middle East.

It is proposterous to say, as Judt does, that Israel is "an oddity among modern nations" because Jews are "set above others". Jordanian law forbids a Jew from becoming a citizen. In no Arab or Muslim country are non-Muslims equal citizens. Israeli Arabs are better off - as measured by longevity, healthcare, legal rights, even religious liberty - than other Arabs in the Middle East.

The peace process is not necessarily dead. The road map is still the best approach. Progressive Israeli and Palestinian intellectuals are now advocating a plan, based largely on the Camp David and Taba proposals, that would result in a two-state solution. We should not abort these realistic proposals in the name of an unrealistic theory.

 

LOATHSOME

Loathsome
By Melanie Philips
October 11, 2003

There is a truly disgusting essay by Professor Tony Judt in the New York Review of Books. He argues for the destruction of Israel.

The very idea of a Jewish state, he sneers, is a 19th century anachronism. No mention of the anachronistic situation that led to the creation of a Jewish state -- that medieval hatred of the Jews remained so prevalent across the world, with no country prepared to take them in after World War Two, that a state of their own was the only way of guaranteeing their safety.

In accordance with the left's doctrine that only a multicultural state is legitimate, Judt proposes that Israel becomes a 'binational' Jewish and Arab state. Apart from the fact that this idea was proposed at the end of the 19th century, it ignores the fact that for the Arabs, sharing a state with the Jews means that they must become 'dhimmi', or second class citizens. Islam will tolerate nothing else. No mention of the fact that -- far from a state composed of Europeans -- half of Israel's population were refugees from Arab countries which persecuted them. And no mention of the fact that the Arab states are 'Judenrein', as would be the putative state of Palestine -- which for Judt would not qualify, it appears, as an anachronism.

He's personally okay, of course, because he inhabits a world 'where more and more of us have multiple elective identities and would feel falsely constrained if we had to answer to just one of them'. Well, that may be just terrific for the senior common room of New York University, but possibly not quite so appealing for those Israeli Jews whose 'multiple identities' didn't work out so well in Cairo or Cracow.

Judt's modest proposal rehearses the usual libels and distortions about Israel. Thus: 'With American support, Jerusalem has consistently and blatantly flouted UN resolutions requiring it to withdraw from land seized and occupied in war'. No mention that these resolutions also require as a quid pro quo that the Arabs make peace with Israel.

Thus: 'Washington's unconditional support for Israel...' No mention that Washington has always prevented Israel from taking action that would help prevent its citizens being murdered (as in the otherwise inexplicable non-arrest of Arafat); that as a result of Washington's Oslo process, the Palestinians were given the arms and infrastructure to murder Israelis; or that Washington's road map promises a state as a reward for terror.

Thus: 'Syria is more use to the United States as a friend than an enemy'. No mention of Syria's ongoing role as a major sponsor of terror.

Thus: 'pundits slander our European allies when they dissent, speak glibly and irresponsibly of resurgent anti-Semitism when Israel is criticized...' No mention of the blood libel promulgated by 'our European allies' over the massacre of Jenin that wasn't; no mention of the commonplace assertion by 'our European allies' of the canard that the Jews are a cabal which dictates American foreign policy; no mention of the dehumanisation of Israel by 'our European allies' through their vile daily distortion and moral inversion that represents Israel's attempts at self-defence as unwarranted aggression.

Thus: 'it is a Jewish state in which one community'Jews "is set above others...' No mention that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, one in which Arabs have the vote, can serve in the army and even sit in the supreme court. And if he's taking a shot at the right of return -- well, this was a unique concession for a people unique in the history of the world in having been persecuted in virtually every country, and for whom automatic refuge was therefore a moral act. To represent this as some kind of racist discrimination is obscene.

For what it's worth, I believe the settlements are wrong, they should be dismantled forthwith and Israel should insist on a state for the Palestinians. To rule another people is not only anathema but -- the one point where Judt is correct -- will lead to the demographic destruction of the Jewish state. So call their bluff -- and then fight them, as one state against another, when they attack, which they undoubtedly will in accordance with what they have said consistently down the decades. I believe there is no acceptable alternative. But that's because I want the Jewish state to survive. Judt's call for its annihilation, by contrast, makes that appalling prospect that little bit more likely.

 

A VISIT TO OXFORD STREET LONDON

A visit to Oxford Street, London
The article below appears on www.jewishcomment.com

"I Wish 80 or 90 Jews Would Die"
By Carol Gould
October 22, 2003

On Thursday evening we went to Marks & Spencer department store. On the way, the bus conductor wanted it known to the passengers that he was Moroccan. He went from seat to seat making a point of greeting passengers in Arabic, and animatedly chatting with women in traditional Muslim clothes.

He did make a point of grunting to those of us who were, shall we say, "traditional locals." We did not feel slighted but as we approached Oxford Street he went to the front of the bus and told those of us seated at that end of the vehicle that "Marks and Spencer sell things and then send the money to the Jewish." He then said what one assumes was a similar piece of useful information to a Muslim woman and both became rather agitated. The bus driver, a white-haired London Buses oldtimer of decades standing, leaned out of his cab and with considerable irritation lectured the conductor on the history of the Holocaust and of the "Jewish." As we were leaving the bus I could hear the driver and conductor arguing ; the latter reminding the Englishman that all Marks and Spencer money goes to the "Zionist murderers."

We then found ourselves in Oxford Street and outside "M&S," as it is affectionately known, was a contingent of policemen and women who were protecting a small group of young Jewish men who had set up a table with an Israeli flag. The men were further protected by a substantial metal barrier, to separate them from what can only be described as an hysterical crowd of hate-filled people of every shape and size. What was so depressing was that non-Arabs in the noisy crowd outnumbered those from the Middle East.

(Let me explain the background : for years Palestinian groups have had a stall outside Marks & Spencer to protest the history of the Sieff family and to stop people from shopping at a store that stocks Israeli goods. The Palestinian young people are never attacked, and when Jews approach them the most that happens is a lively discussion. To a lesser extent its neighbour store, Selfridges, has had leafletters outside for years protesting the presence of Israeli wines on its shelves. One day last year I went into Selfridges and accosted the first couple I saw. They said they agreed with the Palestinian leafletters and thought no "Zionist apartheid" goods should be sold anywhere in the UK. When I asked this otherwise charming English pair where they had learned the word "apartheid" in relation to Israel they said they had read about it in The Independent and had seen "atrocities on the BBC.")

Back to Thursday: I began to pick up snippets of shouts from this viscerally angry crowd. One woman in religious Muslim attire standing next to me -- actually jumping up and down -- screamed at the top of her voice to the Israel supporters, "You Jews destroyed my country, Iraq." Someone asked her what Israel had to do with Iraq and she screeched "You killed sixty of my family in Iraq." She was asked how sixty Iraqis were killed by Israelis and she said "Israel -USA! Same hing! And now you will take over Iran!" She became so agitated that she had to be led away by the police.

Then came the chorus of really quite terrifyingly angry English people with their shouted mantras of "You people invented terrorism in Palestine." "Israel is expanding every day and will soon own the whole Middle East!!" (doh???) ; "Israel is slaughtering thousands of Palestinians every day." (Again, doh?)

But the crowning glory was an elegantly-dressed businessman next to me who seemed normal except for the fury in his eyes. He said, "I love and revere the suicide bombers. Every time I hear of a suicide bomb going off I wish it had been eighty or ninety Jews instead of a pitiful handful." He then went on to shout at everyone around him every time someone tried to speak, and had reached a point of hysteria -- "You people have been trying to acquire land across the entire globe and will soon own every nation if you are not stopped!" -- when, thankfully, a policewoman came over. One can think of some poeple who, had they been armed, would be in prison tonight because his suggestion that not enough Jews are killed each time a bomb goes off "made one crazy" as the saying goes, but we were pleased to see that the policewoman was making every effort to book him.

(Imagine how far he would have got had he said such things in New York or Washington about Americans!)

What does this tell us about British society? Pim Fortuyn was assassinated because he expressed what were considered to be extremist views about the rise of Islam across Europe and in his native Holland. We have no objection to ethnic diversity but we are sickened when we see British and Arab people united in such blood-curdling hatred of one very tiny minority. (Lest we forget Jews are now outnumbered ten to one by Muslims in the UK.) What alarms us is the profoundly visceral hatred shown by the crowd on Thursday towards a mild-looking group of young Jewish men and bystanders supporting them.

Does this mean, as Melanie Phillips has said so often in the British press this year, that Britain is no longer a place where Jews may live without fear? Yes, we think it does. Our liberal friends will say that the actions of the Sharon government are making life hell for Diaspora Jews. Well, here is the crucial point: when Yitzhak Rabin was making peace and Israel was booming -- and the Palestinian territories were beginning to flourish -- terror bombs were exploding as often as during the dark days and way back then, one's British hosts were saying the same unspeakable things about "you people invented terrorism in Palestine' and 'hopefully in the next war Israel will be taught a lesson it won't forget...'

Sadly, we believe anti-Semitism is endemic in the world at large. We feel that our own spiritual home is the United States ( we have given up trying to explain to European Jews why we feel as free and proud as Jews in the USA as we do in Israel ), but were we as young as the men on the Israel stall on Thursday we would make aliyah. NOW.

 

IRANIAN SPIES ROAM BRITAIN 'TO LOCATE SYNAGOGUES FOR ATTACK BY AL-QA'EDA'

Iranian spies roam Britain "to locate synagogues for attack by al-Qa'eda"
By David Bamber, Home Affairs Editor
Sunday Telegraph, U.K.
October 26, 2003

Iranian spies have been photographing synagogues and other Jewish buildings in Britain, seemingly in preparation for terrorist attacks.

MI5, the security service, and Special Branch officers have discovered Iranians photographing such buildings in London and the Home Counties for some time, with an upsurge of activity over the past two months.

Up to 20 Iranians, most studying here legally as students at universities, are involved in the surveillance and two men have been asked to leave the country as a result.

Mike Whine, the security spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said that the authorities were taking the threat seriously.

"We have been aware for some time that Iranians are monitoring synagogues and Jewish community buildings," he said. "They have been seen taking photographs and most synagogues are now aware of the threat and keep a look-out.

"We understand from intelligence received that they are photographing them as possible terrorist targets. We don't know for definite but there could be a link with al-Qa'eda."

He said the activities of the Iranians had caused considerable worry to the Jewish community. Among the buildings photographed were synagogues in Finchley, north London, an area that is home to one of Britain's largest Jewish communities.

British security officials are convinced that Iran is sheltering members of al-Qa'eda, including one of Osama bin Laden's sons. Since May 2002, communication interceptions have suggested that al-Qa'eda is using Iranians in Europe to target Jews.

Al-Qa'eda leaders have urged followers repeatedly to seek out synagogues and Jewish institutions for attack. One intercepted message, heard time and time again, informs members: "You must have faith, do not worry, there will be a major strike." It is believed to have originated from a new base for the terror group in Iran, close to the Afghan border.

Abu Qatada, the north London Islamic cleric being held under the Terrorism Act who has been described as bin Laden's "ambassador" in Europe, also has links to Iran.

In August, it was revealed that Hadi Soleimanpour, the former Iranian ambassador to Argentina, had been arrested in Britain on an extradition warrant from Buenos Aires. He is wanted in connection with the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994 which killed 85 people. The Metropolitan Police do not think, however, that the Iranians in Britain are planning an imminent terrorist attack, but they remain concerned that some outrage is being planned within the next few months. Their intelligence has been shared with the US State Department and the CIA.

Diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran were restored in 1988, eight years after the infamous six-day siege of its London embassy at Prince's Gate, south Kensington, was ended in dramatic fashion by the SAS.

The Iranian embassy last week refused to comment on the activities of its citizens.

 

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FIRM IS LINKED TO ZYKLON B

Holocaust memorial firm is linked to Zyklon B
By Philip Pank
London Times
October 27, 2003

Work has been halted on Germany's national Holocaust memorial after it emerged that one of the companies supplying materials had links to the production of chemicals used in Nazi gas chambers.

Degussa AG, which won the contract to coat the 26 million Euro (18 million) structure with anti-graffiti protection, has been identified as part-owner of the company that produced Zyklon B gas, which was used to kill inmates in concentration camps.

Building of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, near the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, began last month.

Wolfgang Thierse, the Speaker of the German parliament and chairman of the foundation in charge of building the memorial, said that it was examining whether alternatives to the anti-graffiti chemicals made by Degussa AG were available. "We are investigating the legal, technical and financial possibilities of using another product of similar quality for protecting the Holocaust memorial," he told German television.

Lea Rosh, who in 1988 launched the campaign to build the memorial, said: "We had a lively debate in the foundation about it, but decided we had to make this decision for the survivors. "Some of the monument's 2,700 concrete pillars have already been impregnated with the chemicals and erected.

Its American architect, Peter Eisenman, has likened the pillars, the centrepiece of the memorial, to a cornfield being whipped with wind. It is due to be completed in 2005.

Efinger & Albani GmbH, the company with the contract to protect the monument's pillars from graffiti, said in a statement that the Degussa chemicals were the best on the market. The foundation would face "some difficulties" if it tried to find alternative contractors which in some way did not have connections with the Nazi era, the statement said. The statement noted Degussa had no direct contract with the foundation.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.