Issue #18 - The Zionist death-cult
Israel is a violently racist state that habitually kills Palestinian children.
I’ve lots of recommended reading for you this week, so let’s dive straight in.
First up is a story by my colleague at EI, Ali Abunimah. And it involves some of the indirect fallout of a story I have been covering for the last month or so.
Ali reports on how the Labour Party last week issued a formal written threat to sue Palestine solidarity activist Tony Greenstein, over a post on his blog which it claims is “defamatory” and contains “false statements” regarding its employee Scott Horner.
Horner, as I first reported at the end of June, is the party official who told elected local Labour chairperson Kim Bolton to shut down debate on a motion calling for sanctions against Israel. The debate would have been held at the Constituency Labour Party level in Brighton and Hove.
Horner and Bolton nonsensically claimed that the motion would risk “opening a debate that will stir up internal conflict in our CLP and may lead to further anti-Semitic behavior.”
In addition to ourselves at EI, other websites covered the story, including the Skwawkbox — and Tony also wrote it up on his blog. Tony expressed the view that Horner and Bolton are both racist and anti-Semitic.
He wrote that “Exceptionalizing Jews in this way as especially vulnerable if Israeli war crimes are debated … is clearly and obviously anti-Semitic. It assumes that Jews form one monolithic bloc.”
It is this blog post that Labour is now demanding Tony censors, deleting his opinions about Bolton and Horner. Tony is not backing down and has written back to Labour telling them as much in no uncertain terms.
Read more in Ali’s report here.
It’s not the first time that Labour’s legal department has thrown its weight around to protect Horner and Bolton and their blatant anti-Palestinian racism. Last month they wrote to EI demanding we re-edit my report on the issue to suit their whims.
We told them where to go and they went away.
He runs a very popular blog which has been an essential resource on issues such as the persecution of Julian Assange. It is his court reports on the trial of former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond that are at the crux of the appallingly trumped-up legal case against him.
He has been found guilty of contempt of court over supposed “jigsaw identification” of Salmond’s sexual harassment accusers (Salmond was cleared on all charges last year).
As Kevin reports, “Murray is the first person in the UK to be incarcerated for media contempt in over a half century.” The number of journalists the UK now holds as political prisoners just doubled to two — Murray and Assange.
Also disturbing is how the judge in the case ruled that Murray, as a blogger, should not have the same protections as officially sanctioned media.
There may also be a deeper motive behind his jailing however, as Murray himself said:
I believe this is actually the state’s long sought revenge for my whistleblowing on security service collusion with torture [in Uzbekistan] and my long term collaboration with WikiLeaks and other whistleblowers. Unfortunately, important free speech issues are collateral damage.
For the latest from on the ground in Palestine, you should read the following. Two pieces by my EI colleague Tamara Nassar on Israeli army killings of Palestinians in the West Bank:
This Guardian opinion piece by heroic Palestinian truth teller and freedom fighter Mohammed El-Kurd:
Mohammed puts it well:
I am tired of reporting the same brutality every day, of thinking of new ways to describe the obvious. The situation in Sheikh Jarrah is not hard to understand: it is a perfect illustration of settler colonialism, a microcosm of the reality for Palestinians across 73 years of Zionist rule. This vocabulary is not theoretical. It is evident in the attempts to throw us out of our homes so that settlers can occupy them – with the backing of the regime, whose forces and policies provide violent support for the transfer of one population to install another.
And finally, this EI long read by Birzeit University lecturer Abdaljawad Omar from earlier in July, which gives a useful in-depth explanation on the most recent wave of protests against the PA:
Following on from my criticism in last week’s newsletter of The Guardian’s coverage of state-sanctioned Israeli cyber criminals NSO Group and its highly invasive Pegasus software, I noticed this new report on their site on Monday.
A French intelligence service has now confirmed earlier findings by cyber-security experts that traces of the Pegasus spyware were found on the phones of three French journalists (which in itself is merely the tip of the iceberg, with at least 180 journalists possibly targeted).
It’s the first time a governmental authority has confirmed such a trace analysis. Lénaïg Bredoux, an investigative journalist at the French website Mediapart was one of those targeted. Bredoux said:
It takes a bit of time to realise it, but it’s extremely unpleasant to think that one is being spied on, that photos of your husband and children, your friends - who are all collateral victims - are being looked at; that there is no space in which you can escape. It’s very disturbing.
As I mentioned last week, we at EI have reported on NSO and Pegasus for years before The Guardian took an interest, so it’s something that obviously plays on my mind: your own phone could become a spying device against you.
Yet once again, The Guardian lets Israel itself off the hook, going along with the charade that NSO is all some sort of aberration. The paper reported:
In Israel last week, authorities inspected NSO’s offices. And on Sunday, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported an “emergency” conference had been called for cyber-firms to assess the impact of the revelations on the domestic sector. It is not clear which companies will attend the meeting.
Like I wrote last week: if you believe that, I have a bombed-out bridge in Gaza to sell you.
The Guardian and the rest of the corporate media looks set to eventually help Israel sweep all this under the carpet after yet another sham self-investigation, during which they clear themselves of any wrongdoing.
The exact same tactic they use whenever there is any kind of international pressure over their habitual killings of Palestinians.
Finally, leading Palestinian intellectual Joseph Massad’s latest piece just came out on Friday. As always, it is essential, insightful reading:
What the history of British, US, European and Israeli refusal to recognise the national and indigenous rights of the Palestinian people to their own country, and their right to defend themselves against Zionist settler-colonialism, has clearly shown is that the Palestinians would only be recognised as a people after they surrender all their national indigenous rights.
My work this week
You may remember back in December when Channel 4 News broadcast this great little segment, in which they interviewed a circle of young British Palestinians, asking them to express their thoughts on their experiences of British colonialism.
It was an insightful piece of journalism, which was shared a lot on social media at the time. You can watch it in full below:
Apparently, a nasty little outfit calling itself UK Lawyers For Israel launched something they term a “lawfare” attack against Channel 4 in revenge for doing its job and reporting on issues people care about.
They referred the journalists to Ofcom, the UK’s broadcast regulator. This was something you may have missed at the time (I know I did) but it seems like they did so right away.
Well, some good news: they totally lost, with Ofcom ruling it would not uphold their complaint. The right decision, eventually. But it should be a scandal that this was ever investigated. It was a waste of six months of time for both the regulators and the journalists.
But that is precisely the point of such Israel lobby “lawfare” — to tie people up in knots and to make it harder for journalists to report the truth about Israel.
If you look at the actual legal record of outfits such as Mossad front group Shurat HaDin, UKLFI and their openly racist US colleagues The Lawfare Project, they very rarely win cases in court.
Read more about it in my report from this past week.
Here’s my MEMO column from the weekend, lamenting on the most recent Israeli murders of Palestinian children, and the lack of political will from the so-called “international community” to hold Israel to account.
Also available in Spanish translation.
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