From the Jordanian paper, Ad-Dustur, April 7, 2011. (The writing in Arabic reads “Goldstone Report”.)
* “The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.”
* “In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome statute.”
* “South Africa’s enforced racial separation was intended to permanently benefit the white minority, to the detriment of other races. By contrast, Israel has agreed in concept to the existence of a Palestinian state in Gaza and almost all of the West Bank, and is calling for the Palestinians to negotiate the parameters.”
* “Israeli Arabs – 20 percent of Israel’s population – vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.”
Judge Richard Goldstone
1. As old as Karl Marx himself
2. “Israel and the apartheid slander” (By Richard Goldstone, New York Times, Nov. 1, 2011)
3. “Anti-Semitism is the new black” (By Rob Marchant, New Statesman, Oct. 28, 2011)
4. “The BBC airbrushes out Palestinian terror attacks – again” (By Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail, Oct. 29, 2011)
5. “German firm fires model for praising Gaddafis” (Associated Press, Nov. 1, 2011)
AS OLD AS KARL MARX HIMSELF
[Note by Tom Gross]
The leading international jurist, Judge Richard Goldstone, has done a great deal of harm to Israel in recent years -- perhaps in a more damaging way than anyone else (particularly considering he played up his Jewish background when doing so). Israeli president Shimon Peres even accused Goldstone of “legitimizing terrorism” against Israeli Jews. So too, to a lesser extent, has The New York Times with its distorted reporting about Israel and sometimes slanderous op-eds.
Today’s comment piece by Judge Goldstone, which The New York Times agreed to publish, therefore comes as a welcome surprise. (Goldstone’s previous editorial in April, in which he began to backtrack on the findings of his own 2009 UN Goldstone report, was published in The Washington Post after the Times had reportedly turned it down.)
The points Goldstone makes in his article today have been made many times before, not least on this website and dispatch list, but the fact that Goldstone states them in a clear and concise way for New York Times readers is significant and I suggest you read his piece in full.
Goldstone’s op-ed also serves as a direct refutation of the stance of those political organizations that masquerade as “human rights groups” such as Human Rights Watch (of which Goldstone was formerly a board member), Amnesty International (which last month was accused of outright anti-Semitism in relation to its statements on the Gilad Shalit-terrorist swap deal) and even Israeli groups such as B’Tselem, whose director Jessica Montell has said that Israel is “worse than apartheid in South Africa.”
Goldstone was the subject of these anti-Semitic cartoons earlier this year following his Washington Post comment piece going back on his own UN Goldstone report. You can scroll down here to see them.
After that, I attach three other articles of interest.
The first of these, titled “Anti-Semitism is the new black,” criticizes the anti-Zionist left for using anti-Semitism to further its arguments. It is published on the website of the British leftist magazine The New Statesman, which has been particularly bad in stirring up animosity toward Israel in recent years, as I have noted many times in these dispatches, so the publication of this new piece also comes as a welcome surprise.
However, those who are not on the left may be surprised by writer Rob Marchant’s assertion:
“But there’s a new twist on the ideological catwalk. We can visualize far-right thugs indulging in this kind of thing but somehow we don’t expect it from our comrades on the supposedly liberal-left.”
Leftist anti-Semitism (including that by leftists of Jewish origin) is, of course, as old as Karl Marx himself.
-- Tom Gross
Among many previous dispatches on this website on the Goldstone report, please see:
* Goldstone’s remarkable about-face (April 3, 2011)
* Dachau survivor asks Goldstone: How dare you? (& Peres: Goldstone “legitimized terrorism”) (Sept. 21, 2009)
(You can comment on this dispatch here: www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia. You first have to press “Like” on that page.)
(Thank you to all those writers who have made use of and linked to this dispatch, such as Ronald Radosh at Pajamas media.)
(I would also kindly request that all those news sites, including some major newspapers, that have copied some of my paragraphs above verbatim, in running news items about this story, kindly link to or credit my site in future.)
ISRAEL AND THE APARTHEID SLANDER
Israel and the Apartheid Slander
By Richard J. Goldstone
The New York Times
November 1, 2011
THE Palestinian Authority’s request for full United Nations membership has put hope for any two-state solution under increasing pressure. The need for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians has never been greater. So it is important to separate legitimate criticism of Israel from assaults that aim to isolate, demonize and delegitimize it.
One particularly pernicious and enduring canard that is surfacing again is that Israel pursues “apartheid” policies. In Cape Town starting on Saturday, a London-based nongovernmental organization called the Russell Tribunal on Palestine will hold a “hearing” on whether Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid. It is not a “tribunal.” The “evidence” is going to be one-sided and the members of the “jury” are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known.
While “apartheid” can have broader meaning, its use is meant to evoke the situation in pre-1994 South Africa. It is an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than advance peace negotiations.
I know all too well the cruelty of South Africa’s abhorrent apartheid system, under which human beings characterized as black had no rights to vote, hold political office, use “white” toilets or beaches, marry whites, live in whites-only areas or even be there without a “pass.” Blacks critically injured in car accidents were left to bleed to death if there was no “black” ambulance to rush them to a “black” hospital. “White” hospitals were prohibited from saving their lives.
In assessing the accusation that Israel pursues apartheid policies, which are by definition primarily about race or ethnicity, it is important first to distinguish between the situations in Israel, where Arabs are citizens, and in West Bank areas that remain under Israeli control in the absence of a peace agreement.
In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute: “Inhumane acts ... committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” Israeli Arabs – 20 percent of Israel’s population – vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.
To be sure, there is more de facto separation between Jewish and Arab populations than Israelis should accept. Much of it is chosen by the communities themselves. Some results from discrimination. But it is not apartheid, which consciously enshrines separation as an ideal. In Israel, equal rights are the law, the aspiration and the ideal; inequities are often successfully challenged in court.
The situation in the West Bank is more complex. But here too there is no intent to maintain “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group.” This is a critical distinction, even if Israel acts oppressively toward Palestinians there. South Africa’s enforced racial separation was intended to permanently benefit the white minority, to the detriment of other races. By contrast, Israel has agreed in concept to the existence of a Palestinian state in Gaza and almost all of the West Bank, and is calling for the Palestinians to negotiate the parameters.
But until there is a two-state peace, or at least as long as Israel’s citizens remain under threat of attacks from the West Bank and Gaza, Israel will see roadblocks and similar measures as necessary for self-defense, even as Palestinians feel oppressed. As things stand, attacks from one side are met by counterattacks from the other. And the deep disputes, claims and counterclaims are only hardened when the offensive analogy of “apartheid” is invoked.
Those seeking to promote the myth of Israeli apartheid often point to clashes between heavily armed Israeli soldiers and stone-throwing Palestinians in the West Bank, or the building of what they call an “apartheid wall” and disparate treatment on West Bank roads. While such images may appear to invite a superficial comparison, it is disingenuous to use them to distort the reality. The security barrier was built to stop unrelenting terrorist attacks; while it has inflicted great hardship in places, the Israeli Supreme Court has ordered the state in many cases to reroute it to minimize unreasonable hardship. Road restrictions get more intrusive after violent attacks and are ameliorated when the threat is reduced.
Of course, the Palestinian people have national aspirations and human rights that all must respect. But those who conflate the situations in Israel and the West Bank and liken both to the old South Africa do a disservice to all who hope for justice and peace.
Jewish-Arab relations in Israel and the West Bank cannot be simplified to a narrative of Jewish discrimination. There is hostility and suspicion on both sides. Israel, unique among democracies, has been in a state of war with many of its neighbors who refuse to accept its existence. Even some Israeli Arabs, because they are citizens of Israel, have at times come under suspicion from other Arabs as a result of that longstanding enmity.
The mutual recognition and protection of the human dignity of all people is indispensable to bringing an end to hatred and anger. The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.
(Richard J. Goldstone, a former justice of the South African Constitutional Court, led the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict of 2008-9.)
ANTI-SEMITISM IS THE NEW BLACK
Tom Gross adds: In order to see all the links that Rob Marchant refers to is his article, it is worth reading it online here.
Anti-Semitism is the new black
By Rob Marchant
The New Statesman (blog)
October 28, 2011
The union movement is giving succour to the oldest form of racism.
Fashion designer John Galliano leaves in a car after he stood trial for anti-Semitic insults in a Paris court
Fashion designer John Galliano leaves in a car after he stood trial for anti-Semitic insults in a Paris court, 22 June 2011. Credit: Getty Images
Oh, how fashionable it is all becoming. A month ago, enfant terrible designer John Galliano was fined over an anti-Semitic tirade at a Paris restaurant. But his drug-addled ramblings were just the latest signs of a wider trend.
There are numerous recent incidents – ranging from an unpleasant flavour of anti-Israeli activism to straightforward racism – that should sound alarm bells for the liberals among us. For example, take the odd promotion of renowned Jewish conspiracy theorist Gilad Atzmon’s book on the Times’ website. Or the “ugly” barracking of Israeli musicians during a London concert for the heinous crime of, er, being Israeli. Or a racist incident involving a Jewish student at St Andrews University.
But there’s a new twist on the ideological catwalk. We can visualise far-right thugs indulging in this kind of thing but somehow we don’t expect it from our comrades on the supposedly liberal-left.
And I am afraid that the final two incidents referred to above, and others beside, are connected with a small knot of campaigners purporting to further the cause of the Palestinian people. They go by the name of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). Not only was the St Andrew’s student a member of the Scottish PSC but it was then the PSC who condemned the conviction, according to Stephen Pollard writing in the Daily Telegraph.
If you need a primer on the PSC let’s start here. This is the organisation that invited Raed Salah - accused by a Jerusalem court of anti-Semitism - to speak at the Houses of Parliament. Its defence? Jaw-droppingly – as the London Evening Standard reported – it was because “he denied completely he was an anti-Semite” (despite views expressed in this video and others attributed to him here). Salah is now likely to be deported following a tribunal ruling reached earlier this week.
Moreover the PSC has members who have been quoted making troubling and making conspiracy-fuelled attacks about the role of Jews and the state of Israel (see this list on the dubious activities of ten separate local branches). And it was one of the PSC’s close union allies, UCU, which decided to reject any formal definition of anti-Semitism, so as not to limit its pronouncements against Israel, and which now has its Jewish members leaving in droves.
Meanwhile, it was Viva Palestina, a group linked to PSC, whose organiser Carole Swords, was caught on camera shouting “go back to Russia” at a man outside the Israeli cosmetics store Ahava in Covent Garden and who was later arrested – in a separate incident – for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.
And which mainstream group is unthinkingly giving succour to this new vogue? Step forward, Britain’s trade unions, once the reliable ballast of the Labour right, who are increasingly being influenced, in their wilder conference pronouncements at least, by the far left.
So much so that the Trades Union Congress recently tried to break links with their counterpart in Israel, Hisradut, a largely progressive grouping which has sought to cultivate links with their Palestinian brethren. Observer columnist and a defender of unions, Nick Cohen, cancelled his speaking date at a TUC rally in protest at what he calls a “foul smell in Britain’s unions”.
While they also operate on Labour’s fringes, the far left knows that the TUC’s resolution-based democracy presents a far better opportunity to effect action because if a resolution is passed it becomes policy; even if that resolution is the work of a small number of nutty, but well organised, activists.
The TUC needs to wake up and challenge the toxic effect of its association with the PSC. (There is an honourable exception to this near-universal backing for the PSC – the union Community backs the non-partisan Tulip, which reaches out to both sides).
Last weekend, there was a scheduled PSC-organised trade union conference,. I’d like to think that this was because the unions involved finally saw sense but find myself believing the reason given by the PSC – namely, the TUC was too busy preparing for the 30 November day of action. The accompanying statement states that, in supporting the PSC, “the TUC has voted to . . . oppose racism”. Have these people no sense of irony?
Yet the worst culprit of all, in the propagation of this twisted fashion, is us. You and me. We of the Labour Party and the labour movement, because we are content to sit back and let it happen.
It blights our society, it hurts the Palestinian cause and, in the end, the latent toxicity of the PSC and their fellow-travellers will damage us on the left, too. Tolerance of the viewpoints of a broad church is fine. But this fashionable tolerance of racism, in imagined support of a cause, is unacceptable and must not go unchallenged.
(Rob Marchant is a political commentator and former Labour Party manager who blogs at The Centre Left.)
THE BBC AIRBRUSHES OUT PALESTINIAN TERROR ATTACKS – AGAIN
The BBC airbrushes out Palestinian terror attacks – again
By Melanie Phillips
The Daily Mail (blog)
October 29, 2011
During the past 24 hours, Israel has been under sustained rocket attack from Gaza. Some 35 rockets and mortar shells were fired deep into the country, killing one man in Ashkelon and injuring four other people elsewhere. In Ashdod, vehicles were set on fire and a school –fortunately empty – was hit. The rocket barrage followed an IDF strike on Gaza which killed five members of Islamic Jihad - and which itself was targeted at the IJ terrorist cell responsible for launching a Grad rocket that exploded in Ashdod last Wednesday.
This, however, is how BBC News has reported the past day’s events on its website:
Militants killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza
“‘Five Palestinian militants have been killed in a number of Israeli air strikes on the south of the Gaza Strip. The violence is the most serious since a major prisoner exchange deal earlier this month between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist militant group that governs in Gaza.
“The militants were killed at an Islamic Jihad training site in Rafah in the south of the strip. Doctors say at least 10 other people were injured in the strike. The Israeli air force has confirmed it carried out the attack. It said the militants were preparing to launch rockets into Israel.
“An Israeli army spokesman confirmed to the AFP news agency that aircraft had attacked other sites. A statement said the Israeli military had “attacked three terrorist sites in the Gaza Strip as well as an arms factory in the south of the territory”.
“ ...The violence comes less than two weeks after a major prisoner exchange which saw about 500 Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails in a swap for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Some of those released were Islamic Jihad members.
“A further 500 Palestinian prisoners are due to be freed as part of the deal later this year. BBC Gaza correspondent Jon Donnison says an escalation in violence could jeopardise those releases.”
[Melanie Phillips continues] No mention of the Palestinian rocket attack on Ashdod last Wednesday. No mention of the 35 rocket attacks on Israel during the past day, nor the Israeli killed in Ashkelon. Instead, the BBC has given the false impression on its website that the Israelis initiated the attacks – and the only casualties it reported were Palestinian.
This website report was timed as ‘last updated’ at 1412 on Saturday. But even on the midnight Radio Four news bulletin just now there was still no mention of the rocket attacks on Israel over the past day, nor the murdered Israeli, nor of last Wednesday’s Grad attack - merely a vague and weaselly reference to Israel accusing the Palestinians of ‘carrying out recent rocket attacks’.
This reporting is simply disgraceful and inexcusable. Such selective manipulation of the facts and consequent misrepresentation of cause and effect reverses victim and aggressor in the Middle East, serves the cause of Arab propaganda and foments public hatred of Israel, all with untold consequences around the world.
As has been observed for years, the BBC’s reporting on Israel is out of control. The BBC is clearly incapable of putting its own house in order; its abuse of journalism on this most sensitive of issues is now so egregious that it is surely a matter that should be raised in Parliament.
GERMAN FIRM FIRES MODEL FOR PRAISING GADDAFIS
German firm fires model for praising Gadhafis
By Juergen Baetz
November 1, 2011
BERLIN (AP) — A German company has canceled a major advertising contract with an Italian-American model after she described her passionate relationship with Moammar Gadhafi's son Muatassim and praised his family.
Telecommunications firm Telefonica Germany and its subsidiary Alice will stop working with 23-year-old model Vanessa Hessler and remove her face from its website within hours, spokesman Albert Fetsch said Monday.
"Vanessa Hessler has failed to distance herself from her comments on the conflict in Libya," Fetsch said.
Hessler had been the company's advertising face for years, and giant posters featuring the model were a fixture in many German cities.
Hessler told the Italian magazine Diva e Donna that for four years she had been dating Muatassim Gahafi — who was captured and killed in Libya alongside his father this month.
"I didn't have any contact with him since the uprising broke out, but our relationship was one of passion," she was quoted as saying by the magazine. "The Gadhafi family is not as they are being depicted, they are normal people."
The model-turned-actress also said that she was crying for Libya, adding that the rebels are "people who don't know what they're doing."
Talks between Telefonica and Hessler's agency did not yield a solution because Hessler stood by her comments, said Fetsch. "We and our clients have no comprehension for what she said."
Her face will be successively removed from all Alice PR material, he added. Telefonica Germany is a subsidiary of Spain's Telefonica S.A.
In August, Talitha van Zon, another model and ex-girlfriend of Muatassim Gadhafi, was evacuated from Libya to Malta. She then said that their three-month relationship had ended years ago but that they remained friends.
In comments to Britain's Telegraph newspaper, van Zon recounted details of her seven-year friendship with Muatassim, including trips to Monaco and St. Bart's, the Caribbean haven for the chic, luxury hotels and gifts of Louis Vuitton bags.