Sunday, June 03, 2007
The Jerusalem Post feeds the Conspiracy Nuts
2. Israeli radical academics behind British boycott:
3. What if Israelis had abducted BBC man?
By Charles Moore
Watching the horrible video of Alan Johnston of the BBC
broadcasting Palestinian propaganda under orders from his
kidnappers, I found myself asking what it would have been like
had he been kidnapped by Israelis, and made to do the same thing
the other way round.
The first point is that it would never happen. There are no
Israeli organisations - governmental or freelance - that would
contemplate such a thing. That fact is itself significant.
But just suppose that some fanatical Jews had grabbed Mr
Johnston and forced him to spout their message, abusing his own
country as he did so. What would the world have said?
There would have been none of the caution which has
characterised the response of the BBC and of the Government
since Mr Johnston was abducted on March 12. The Israeli
government would immediately have been condemned for its
readiness to harbour terrorists or its failure to track them
Loud would have been the denunciations of the extremist
doctrines of Zionism which had given rise to this vile act. The
world isolation of Israel, if it failed to get Mr Johnston
freed, would have been complete.
If Mr Johnston had been forced to broadcast saying, for example,
that Israel was entitled to all the territories held since the
Six-Day War, and calling on the release of all Israeli soldiers
held by Arab powers in return for his own release, his words
would have been scorned. The cause of Israel in the world would
have been irreparably damaged by thus torturing him on
television. No one would have been shy of saying so.
But of course in real life it is Arabs holding Mr Johnston, and
so everyone treads on tip-toe. Bridget Kendall of the BBC opined
that Mr Johnston had been "asked" to say what he said in his
video. Asked! If it were merely an "ask", why did he not say no?
Throughout Mr Johnston's captivity, the BBC has continually
emphasised that he gave "a voice" to the Palestinian people, the
implication being that he supported their cause, and should
therefore be let out. One cannot imagine the equivalent being
said if he had been held by Israelis.
Well, he is certainly giving a voice to the Palestinian people
now. And the truth is that, although it is under horrible
duress, what he says is not all that different from what the BBC
says every day through the mouths of reporters who are not
kidnapped and threatened, but are merely collecting their wages.
The language is more lurid in the Johnston video, but the
narrative is essentially the same as we have heard over the
years from Orla Guerin and Jeremy Bowen and virtually the whole
pack of them.
It is that everything that is wrong in the Middle East and the
wider Muslim world is the result of aggression or
"heavy-handedness" (have you noticed how all actions by American
or Israeli troops are "heavy-handed", just as surely as all
racism is "unacceptable"?) by America or Israel or Britain.
Alan Johnston, under terrorist orders, spoke of the "absolute
despair" of the Palestinians and attributed it to 40 years of
Israeli occupation, "supported by the West". That is how it is
presented, night after night, by the BBC.
The other side is almost unexamined. There is little to explain
the internecine strife in the Arab world, particularly in Gaza,
or the cynical motivations of Arab leaders for whom Palestinian
miseries are politically convenient.
You get precious little investigation of the networks and
mentalities of Islamist extremism - the methods and money of
Hamas or Hizbollah and comparable groups - which produce acts of
pure evil like that in which Mr Johnston is involuntarily
The spotlight is not shone on how the "militants" (the BBC does
not even permit the word "terrorist" in the Middle East context)
and the warlords maintain their corruption and rule of fear,
persecuting, among others, the Palestinians.
Instead it shines pitilessly on Blair and Bush and on Israel.
From the hellish to the ridiculous, the pattern is the same.
Back at home, the Universities and Colleges Union has just voted
for its members to "consider the moral implications of existing
and proposed links with Israeli academic institutions".
Well, they could consider how work by scientists at the Technion
in Haifa has led to the production of the drug Velcade, which
treats multiple myeloma. Or they could look at the professor at
Ben-Gurion University who discovered a bacteria that fights
malaria and river blindness by killing mosquitoes and black fly.
Or they could study the co-operation between researchers at the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who have isolated the protein
that triggers stress in order to try to treat post-traumatic
stress disorder, and their equivalents at the Medical Research
Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.
The main universities of Israel are, in fact, everything that we
in the West would recognise as proper universities. They have
intellectual freedom. They do not require an ethnic or religious
qualification for entry. They are not controlled by the
government. They have world-class standards of research, often
producing discoveries which benefit all humanity. In all this,
they are virtually unique in the Middle East.
The silly dons are not alone. The National Union of Journalists,
of which I am proud never to have been a member, has recently
passed a comparable motion, brilliantly singling out the only
country in the region with a free press for pariah treatment.
Unison, which is a big, serious union, is being pressed to
support a boycott of Israeli goods, products of the only country
in the region with a free trade union movement.
The doctrine is that Israel practises "apartheid" and that it
must therefore be boycotted.
All this is moral madness. It is not mad, of course, to
criticise Israeli policy. In some respects, indeed, it would be
mad not to. It is not mad - though I think it is mistaken - to
see the presence of Israel as the main reason for the lack of
peace in the region.
But it is mad or, perhaps one should rather say, bad to try to
raid Western culture's reserves of moral indignation and expend
them on a country that is part of that culture in favour of
surrounding countries that aren't. How can we have got ourselves
into a situation in which we half-excuse turbaned torturers for
kidnapping our fellow-citizens while trying to exclude Jewish
biochemists from lecturing to our students?
Nobody yet knows the precise motivations of Mr Johnston's
captors, but it is surely not a coincidence that they held him
in silence until the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War
approached, and only then made him speak. They wanted him to
give the world their historical explanation - Israeli oppression
- for their cause.
Yet that war took place because President Nasser of Egypt led
his country and his allies declaring "\u2026our basic aim will
be to destroy Israel".
He failed, abjectly, and Egypt and Jordan later gave up the
aspiration. But many others maintain it to this day, now with a
pseudo-religious gloss added.
We keep giving sympathetic air-time to their death cult. In a
way, Mr Johnston is paying the price: his captors are high on
the oxygen of his corporation's publicity.
As for Israel, many sins can be laid to its charge. But it is
morally serious in a way that we are not, because it has to be.
Forty years after its greatest victory, it has to work out each
morning how it can survive.
4. Progressive fashion:
5. Legal star will 'ruin' supporters of boycott
Jon Marcus | The Times Higher Education Supplement | June 1, 2007
Alan Dershowitz, one of America's leading lawyers, has promised he will
personally visit legal and financial ruin on any UK academic supporting a
boycott of Israeli academe.
The Felix Frankfurter professor of law at Harvard University revealed his
intention to The Times Higher ahead of the University and College Union's
annual conference in Bournemouth this week at which pro-boycott motions
Professor Dershowitz, who has triumphed in high-profile trials - including
those of O. J. Simpson and Claus von Bulow - said he would organise a
campaign to ruin British academics supporting the boycott by imposing
legal, economic and academic measures against them. "I guarantee that we
will obtain legislation dealing with this issue, imposing sanctions that
will devastate and bankrupt those who seek to impose bankruptcy on Israeli
academics," he said.
The sanctions and potential legal action might be based on US law
prohibiting discrimination on the basis of nationality and could be used
against British universities with co-operative agreements with American
partners, he said.
He has already begun working with a leading British barrister, whom he
declined to name, to find legal avenues to challenge a boycott. He said he
would pressure major American financial institutions to stop doing
business with UK universities.
Professor Dershowitz said he would urge "at least 1,000" US academics to
accept honorary posts at Israeli universities and declare themselves
Israelis - thus becoming the de facto targets of a boycott.
He said a boycott would "mark the end of British academics' reputation as
6. Feeding the conspiracy nuts.
Israel's media regularly report "rumors" and baseless stories that are
grist for the mills of the conspiracist nuts. Later, when they correct
the record, the corrections get ignored.
Take the "report" that Netanyahu had
received advanced reports of the attacks on the London tube trains a
couple of years back. Netanyahu was in London at the time of the attacks.
Haaretz carried the "report" that Netanyahu had advance warnings of the
attack, and Haaretz then was quoted by every Neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic
web site on earth to prove that Israel was behind those attacks. Of
course the "advanced report" turned out to be well after the bombs went
off, and the "advanced report" was simply a warning to Netanyahu and to
doubt other diplomats to stay off the streets until the bombings and
related events were sufficiently clarified and investigated. It was
"advanced" only in the sense that the media had not yet gotten all the
reports yet. But Haaretz' repeating the lie helped reinforce the Neo-Nazi
claims that all the Jews who work in the WTC had advanced warning and did
not show up for work on 9-11, a lie that continues to proliferate.
Well, now it is the turn of the Jerusalem Post. It carries a "report",
actually a fabrication by a British diplomat, claiming that the Israeli
intelligence agency Shin Bet was involved with the hijacking of the
Air France plane to Entebbe in 1976, supposedly collaborating with the
terrorists in staging a hyjacking.
The "allegation" appeared in a document written by official DH Colvin at
the British embassy in Paris, quoting a contact at the Euro-Arab
Parliamentary Association, as the crisis unfolded. One moonbat cites
another moonbat who cites a third, and you have a "document".
"According to his information, the hijack was the work of the PFLP, with
help from the Israeli Secret Service, the Shin Bet," he wrote.
That is how the Jerusalem Post irresponsibly reports it. Of course the
whole thing is nothing more than a fabrication by a moonbat British
diplomat in Paris, who wrote his allegations on a piece of paper. That
piece of paper is now a "document". See
The "Shin Bet - Terror Conspiracy" is by now on every Neo-Nazi chat list
on earth and is being embraced by all the usual conspiracy nuts, the
people who also claim that Israel knocked down the World Trade Center
Towers to make the Arabs look bad. Barry Chamish will be promoting the
theory before the middle of the week on the basis of the Jerusalem Post's
The irresponsibility of Israel's mainstream media reaches a new low!
"Shimon Peres, who was defense minister at the time of the hijacking and
Entebbe rescue, said over the weekend that the claims were so outrageously
baseless that they did not merit comment." That hardly makes up for the