1. Neturei Karta rabbis pledge support for Hamas
2. Hamas continues to incite terror
3. Two Palestinians charged in al-Qaeda plot
4. Mayor Livingstone was not drunk this time
5. “Anti-Israel rabbis vow Hamas support” (Al Jazeera, March 22, 2006)
6. “Mayor in fresh Jewish controversy” (BBC News online, March 21, 2006)
7. “Livingstone caught up in new row” (Evening Standard, March 22, 2006)
8. “‘Red Ken’ in new row over Games facility” (Gulf Daily News, March 22, 2006)
Usually those Jews who apologize for, or even actively support, anti-Jewish terror groups are to be found on the extreme secular left, on the margins of academia or journalism (although certain newspapers, for reasons of their own, like to give great prominence to these marginal figures.)
But a handful are also to be found on the extremes of the religious right.
Following on from their participation two weeks ago in a conference titled “The Holocaust: myth or reality?” held with anti-Semites in Teheran*, 14 rabbis from Neturei Karta have visited the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah to pledge their allegiance to the new Hamas government.
I attach, below, the English-language version of a report on the visit carried this morning in Arabic on Al Jazeera.
That Neturei Karta, a small ultra-orthodox sect, believe that no Jewish state should be created before the coming of the messiah, is one thing. That they should actively embrace anti-Semites and terrorists is another.
The spiritual leader of Neturei Karta, Moshe Hirsh, proclaims himself a Palestinian Jew (as do some Israeli academics who say they no longer consider themselves Israeli). Hirsh served as “Jewish affairs adviser” in the cabinet of the late Palestinian dictator Yasser Arafat.
[* For more on the conference in Tehran, see “How Iran duped the west”; Iranian Holocaust (denial) conference “begins today”.]
HAMAS CONTINUES TO INCITE TERROR
Hamas, the organization to which Neturei Karta have pledged allegiance, continues to incite Palestinian children to murder Israelis. On the website of al-Fateh (a children’s publication set up by Hamas in 2002) a new fictional short story for kids has just been posted about a young girl’s suicide attack. The story, titled “A Palestinian girl’s heroism,” concludes with the girl “smiling, lying on the grass, because she died as a Shahida (‘Martyr for Allah’) for Palestine.”
This is the first new story of this kind to go up since Hamas’s election victory. But the al-Fateh website has been inciting Palestinian children to kill Jews for some years now. For more on this, see the final section in my dispatch from 2002 titled The BBC, olive groves, and the murder of teenage girls.
TWO PALESTINIANS CHARGED IN AL-QAEDA PLOT
It has been announced that two Palestinian men from Nablus were on Sunday charged with planning a terror attack on behalf of al-Qaeda. Azzam Abu Al-Ades and Bilal Hafanawi were picked up at the Allenby Bridge border crossing from Jordan three months ago. They were thought to be planning a series of coordinated terror attacks in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood involving suicide bombers and car bombs.
The trial comes just weeks after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said al-Qaeda was trying to recruit West Bank and Gaza Palestinians. The Israeli charge sheet provides a detailed account at how the Palestinians met the al-Qaeda operatives and how the international terror network went about recruiting and financing them, including the opening of a Jordanian bank account with funds for the attack. The two visited the Jordanian city of Irbid at least three times, together and separately, to meet their al-Qaeda handlers, named Abdullah and Abu Talha, the indictment said. Funds also came from a woman named “Naam” from the United Arab Emirates who was in contact with them by Internet, the authorities said.
Separately, Shaul Mofaz, the Israeli Defense Minister, told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot that “Last month, Iran gave the Islamic Jihad $1.8 million, to carry out attacks against Israel.” Israeli police suspect that Islamic Jihad were behind yesterday’s attempted suicide bombing in the Tel Aviv area, referred to in yesterday’s dispatch.
LIVINGSTONE WAS NOT DRUNK THIS TIME
A number of news organizations have today picked up on the most recent distasteful comments made by London Mayor Ken Livingstone, referred to in yesterday’s dispatch. Attached below are reports from the BBC, the (London) Evening Standard, and the Gulf Daily News.
Previously, some people defended Livingstone for his “concentration camp guard” remark on the basis that it occurred after a party and he may have been drunk.
Yesterday’s comments, by contrast, occurred at a mid-morning press conference and the London mayor was not drunk. Indeed, for good measure, in an attempt to solidify his electoral support base among those who don’t like Jews, he repeated his comment that if the Reuben brothers were “not happy here perhaps they could go back to Iran and try it under the Ayatollahs.”
-- Tom Gross
“WE PROCLAIM OUR ALLEGIANCE TO THE NEW HAMAS REGIME”
Anti-Israel rabbis vow Hamas support
Al Jazeera (AFP)
March 22, 2006
A group of anti-Zionist rabbis has visited the Palestinian parliament to pledge their support for the prospective Hamas-led government.
The rabbis from the small ultra-Orthodox movement Neturei Karta, which this month sent a delegation to Iran, travelled to the West Bank town of Ram Allah to express their support for the Islamic group.
The group rejects the existence of the state of Israel as contrary to Jewish law and believes the land should be returned to Palestinians.
Neturei Karta believe that no Jewish state should be created before the coming of the messiah.
“We are true Jews who have come to the Palestinian Legislative Council today to proclaim our allegiance to the new Hamas regime,” said a spokesman for the group.
“We came to express our complete support for the Palestinian people. We consider ourselves Palestinians and, like them, we regard ourselves as under Zionist occupation.”
Parliament Speaker Aziz Dweik called an adjournment of parliament, controlled by Hamas since its January election victory, so that the 14 rabbis, led by spiritual leader Moshe Hirsh, could be welcomed by legislators.
The anti-Zionist movement once represented a stronger current within ultra-Orthodox Judaism, but its membership has dropped to about 400 families in Israel, with supporters in Britain and the US.
Hirsh, proclaiming himself a Palestinian Jew, served as Jewish affairs adviser to the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
LONDON MAYOR IN FRESH JEWISH CONTROVERSY
Mayor in fresh Jewish controversy
BBC News online
March 21, 2006
London’s mayor has become embroiled in a new row after criticising two Jewish businessmen involved in building a key facility for the 2012 Olympics.
Ken Livingstone attacked David and Simon Reuben for their role in an ongoing dispute about the Stratford City development in east London.
He suggested the brothers “go back (to their own country) and see if they can do better under the ayatollahs”.
The mayor made the comments during a speech at City Hall. The mayor’s office said there was nothing further to add.
The mayor is understood to think the consortium behind the project, of which the Reuben brothers hold a 50% stake, is not progressing quickly enough and could be in danger.
Conservative members of the London Assembly said the brothers were not Iranian, but had been born in India of Iraqi Jewish parents.
Brian Coleman, assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, said: “This is the latest anti-Semitic remark by Livingstone, he clearly has a major problem with the Jewish business community.”
The brothers released a statement saying the mayor’s comments were “totally inaccurate”.
“The Reuben brothers remain completely committed to the Stratford City project in its entirety as well as the Olympic opportunity,” the statement added.
“They are working extremely hard to deliver the development for the long-term benefit of London and Londoners. That is what they shall continue to do.
“Mr Livingstone’s comments on the Reuben brothers’ role in the Paddington and White City developments are also unsubstantiated.”
The row follows the mayor’s four-week suspension for comparing Evening Standard journalist Oliver Finegold to a Nazi concentration camp guard.
Mr Livingstone, however, won a last-minute attempt to remain London’s mayor pending an appeal against the verdict, which was handed down by the Adjudication Panel for England.
“GO BACK TO IRAN AND TRY THEIR LUCK WITH THE AYATOLLAHS”
Livingstone caught up in new row
Evening Standard (London)
March 22, 2006
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has become embroiled in a new row after apparently suggesting that billionaire businessmen brothers involved with building a key facility for the 2012 Olympics should “go back to Iran and try their luck with the ayatollahs”.
Mr Livingstone was reported to have said of David and Simon Reuben, who are backing the £4 billion “Olympic City” in Stratford, east London: “Perhaps if they’re not happy they can always go back (to their own country) and see if they can do better under the ayatollahs.”
Conservatives on the London Assembly said the brothers were not Iranian, but born in India of Iraqi Jewish parents.
Brian Coleman, assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, said: “This is the latest anti-Semitic remark by Livingstone, he clearly has a major problem with the Jewish business community. To suggest that these men should go to Iran is shocking, outrageous and grossly offensive to the entire Jewish community.”
The remarks come as Mr Livingstone is preparing for his appeal against a four-week suspension from the office of Mayor over comments to a Jewish reporter.
Last month, the Adjudication Panel for England unanimously found him guilty of being “unnecessarily insensitive and offensive” in comparing Evening Standard journalist Oliver Finegold to a Nazi concentration camp guard.
The three-man tribunal decided that he brought his office into disrepute and breached the Greater London Authority code of conduct. He won a last ditch legal bid to remain as Mayor, just hours before his suspension was due to begin, pending the appeal.
The latest alleged comments come against the background of a reported crisis affecting the Stratford City development. The Evening Standard reported that the Reubens control half the consortium, with the two remaining stakes held by the Westfield and Stanhope groups.
At his weekly press conference, Mr Livingstone apparently said a “poisonous state of relations” now existed within the consortium. He blamed the Reuben brothers for the collapse of plans for a new hospital at Paddington and of having a “divisive” role in a shopping centre being built at White City.
He said: “Perhaps if they’re not happy they can always go back (to their own country) and see if they can do better under the ayatollahs.”
A spokesman for Mr Livingstone’s office said they were aware of the story in the Evening Standard and aware of the comments by the Conservatives.
“RED KEN” IN NEW ROW OVER GAMES FACILITY
‘Red Ken’ in new row over Games facility
Gulf Daily News
March 22, 2006
London Mayor Ken Livingstone was at the centre of a fresh political row yesterday, as a possible sanction for comparing a Jewish reporter to a Nazi still hung over his head. The 60-year-old was reported to have said two wealthy brothers should “go back to Iran and try their luck with the ayatollahs” because of alleged wranglings over a key facility for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The remarks, directed at David and Simon Reuben, were slammed by opposition members of the Greater London Assembly. The Reubens were not Iranian but born in India of Iraqi Jewish parents, said Conservative Party assembly member Brian Coleman.