Thursday, August 28, 2014

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Is the Gaza War Really Over?
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next war against Israel."
Avigdor Liberman: Take Away Their Guns -- Then We'll Talk
For the end of the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to be achieved, those who strenuously, violently fight against any form of peace must not be allowed the means to do so. In our conflict, Hamas, which has neither interest in nor intent toward peace, has to be diminished. The terrorist group is a malevolent force. It continually hijacks any possibility of a better future for the peoples of the region. It must not be allowed to maintain its stockpiles of weapons.
The circumstances in Gaza must be changed radically. Israel fully supports a broad international effort to provide all the necessary means to rebuild the civilian infrastructure and economy in Gaza, provided there is a concerted parallel effort to prevent Hamas from rearming itself with weapons systems and rebuilding its terrorist infrastructure. Hamas cannot be allowed to rebuild its military force and prevent the essential international aid being directed to the Palestinian residents. Ultimately, the best guarantee for rebuilding Gaza and developing its economy will be demilitarization.
As long as Hamas remains armed, its weapons represent the strongest and most violent veto of peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
MEMRI: Marwan Barghouti In Message From Israeli Jail: The Time Has Arrived For Fatah Members To Take Part In Comprehensive Resistance Against Israel
Against the backdrop of the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Fatah Central Committee member Marwan Barghouti issued a message from the Israeli prison where he is incarcerated for directing multiple terror attacks in which many Israeli civilians were killed and wounded.
In his message, published in full by the Gazan internet daily on August 20, 2014, Barghouti urged Fatah, which he called the leader of the "Palestinian revolution," to adhere to the path of resistance in all its forms, both non-violent and violent; this, in order to end the occupation and siege, and in order to leverage the ongoing Palestinian national struggle and the attainment of independence, even at the cost of martyrdom or imprisonment.

Pallywood comes to Australia
THE activist group Australians for Palestine has prompted outrage by misrepresenting an image of children killed in Syria as young victims of the conflict in Gaza in an email to MPs that attacked Israel’s operations.
Jeremy Jones from the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council said graphic images “which are purportedly from Gaza which have later been authoritatively identified as coming from Syria, Iraq or Egypt, proliferate on social media”.
“In addition, photographs which have been shown to be staged and images which have been manipulated for dramatic ­effect spread virally through Facebook and Twitter,” he said.
Mr Jones warned against the abuse of photographs.
“Individuals and organisations which want to be treated as serious contributors to policy development need to exercise as much caution with images as they do with text,” he said. “To distribute an inaccurately labelled image, which is not only unverified but which could have been easily identified, is as bad as circulating outright errors of fact.”
Mr Jones hit out at Australians for Palestine over the episode.
“In this situation, the image was challenged, but when the person distributing it admitted it was not from Gaza she did not honour a commitment to publicise and correct the error,” he said. “It would appear that bad judgment was supplemented by bad faith.”
Caught: Hamas Reports Terrorist’s Death as a Civilian Casualty
Media outlets have relied on Hamas’ statistics when reporting casualties in Gaza, but the terrorist group routinely exaggerates civilian deaths for propaganda purposes.
When IDF forces target terrorists in Gaza, Hamas leaders often conceal the deaths of its operatives. In many of these cases, the terrorist organization reports militant deaths as civilian casualties. This tactic has an obvious purpose: to attract international sympathy for Hamas while intensifying condemnation of Israel.
Hamas used this deceptive strategy on Saturday after the IDF targeted Mahmoud Osama Abbas. Hamas’ interior ministry Facebook page presented Osama Abbas as a civilian, but a bit of research reveals that he was a senior terrorist in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization in Gaza. Images of Osama Abbas are publicly available on the organization’s website, which refers to him as a ground commander who directed several attacks against Israel.
 Why Hamas must ultimately be destroyed
The answer is to begin viewing Hamas for what it truly is – pure, unbridled and senseless evil, a terrorist group that preaches death and destruction, rather than justice and morality.
There were earlier periods when much of the world understood that ideologies like those expounded by Hamas pose a mortal threat to humanity and had therefore to be eliminated, and not negotiated with.
Very few doubted the legitimacy of the need to vanquish the Nazis during WWII, or of the Cold War against communism.
But as society has increasingly adopted a morally relativistic view of the world, the line between good and evil has been progressively blurred, to the contemporary point of willful blindness.
It is high time to refocus.
So long as Hamas exists, the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians will continue to be plagued, precluding the possibility of them together ever sowing the seeds, or perhaps one day even growing real vineyards, of peace.
Hamas’s disastrous strategy
From the current cycle of violence initiated by Hamas against Israel, one feature will leave a durable imprint on the various forces at work in the Israeli-Palestinian standoff: the outright strategic failure of Hamas.
To begin with, consider Hamas’s failure on the political front. The majority of Arab governments have refused to support Hamas. A recent article in The New York Times points to the existence of “a new coalition of Arab states,” led by Egypt and including Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, “that has effectively lined up with Israel in its fight against Hamas.” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer refers to this de facto coalition as a “tacit and remarkable pan-Arab-Israeli alliance to bring down Hamas.”
Only Qatar and Turkey – long-standing supporters of Hamas – have sided with that movement. Their stance, however, disqualified these two countries from playing the role of intermediary in the present standoff. The PLO, the main component of the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas, sees Qatar and Turkey as Hamas’ mouthpieces.
Hamas Facing Palestinian Criticism
Hamas leaders on Tuesday declared the seven-week confrontation with Israel a “great victory for the Palestinian resistance” and a step toward the next round of fighting with the Jewish state, but many Gaza citizens are questioning the usefulness of Hamas’ attacks.
One Gazan in the street who lost his home in the bombing asked a reporter—“why did they have to provoke Israel?”—the question suggests Hamas leadership may yet face sharp questioning after the dust settles. The public celebrations after the ceasefire went into effect are seen in Israel as an expression of relief that the bombing and shelling have finally stopped.
According to Israel, the pressure on Hamas and other militant groups in the last week of battle was so great that, in an unprecedented move, the local Hamas leadership in Gaza forced Hamas’ political leader, Khaled Mashaal, who is based in Qatar, to drop his opposition to the ceasefire proposed by Egypt even though it included none of the conditions Hamas had demanded.
A series of assassinations of top leaders by Israeli air strikes and the toppling of at least five multi-story towers in the heart of Gaza in recent days along with numerous other air strikes obliged the leadership, as an Islamic Jihad official put it, “to take into account the suffering of the people and accept a ceasefire.”
However, the militancy voiced by Hamas leaders has not diminished.
PM: Israel dealt Hamas worst blow since it was founded
In his first public remarks since the cease-fire went into effect, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Operation Protective Edge brought Israel a "great military and diplomatic achievement."
Netanyahu said Hamas had been dealt a tough blow and that it had received none of its cease-fire demands. But, the prime minister cautioned, "it is too soon to say if we achieved our goal of sustained calm."
"We will not tolerate a drizzle of rockets on any part of the State of Israel," Netanyahu said. "We will respond even more vigorously than before."
Speaking at a press conference in Jerusalem with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, Netanyahu said, "Hamas suffered the greatest blow since its founding -- both militarily and diplomatically."
 Netanyahu, Abbas met secretly in Jordan — report
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met secretly in Amman several days ago, a Jordanian newspaper reported Thursday.
The report in Al-Ghad said the meeting, likely sponsored by Jordan’s king, took place several days before Israel and Hamas agreed on a ceasefire on Tuesday.
The news outlet offered no further details. Israel’s Army Radio said the meeting took place on Sunday.
 Israeli Negotiator: Gazans Have Nothing to Celebrate
Amos Gilad, the former IDF general who was a member of the Israeli negotiating team that worked on the Gaza ceasefire, said Thursday that the indirect negotiation process between Israel and Hamas was one of the most “tiring” experiences he had ever been through.
“You sit for hours in a room, waiting for the minor changes made by either Hamas or the Egyptians to the agreement, many of them designed to trick you into making a bad deal,” Gilad said of the process. Negotiations took place in a Gaza hotel, with Israeli and Hamas terror officials sequestered in different rooms. Egyptian officials ferried proposals and changes to the deal between both sides, who never met face to face.
“For Hamas, Israel does not exist,” Gilad said on Channel Two Thursday morning. “Even if I wanted to conduct direct talks with them, they wouldn't accept this. We also did not speak with members of the Palestinian Authority delegation. Everything was done by the Egyptians,” Gilad said.

50 days of Israel's Gaza operation, Protective Edge – by the numbers
For 50 days of war, the home front and soldiers on the front lines were battered by thousands of rockets and mortar shells, as armed groups in Gaza fired 4,564 projectiles at Israel.
This statistic is one of several released by the IDF as the fighting ended on Tuesday night.
According to the army, 3,659 rocket and mortar impact sites were found – counting those fired on IDF soldiers in Gaza. Of those that struck in Israel, 224 hit built-up areas. A further 735 were shot down by the Iron Dome missile defense system. Also, the IDF said that there were 197 “failed launchings” – projectiles that never left the Gaza Strip or that did not launch at all.
During the war 70 people were killed on the Israeli side, including 64 soldiers. Gaza health officials said more than 2,100 people were killed in Strip in the fighting and many thousands more were wounded.
The Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the body responsible for running the Israeli border crossings with Gaza, said that since the operation began on July 8, 959 tons of medicine and medical supplies have entered the Strip through the crossings, and that 5,359 trucks carrying goods entered through the Kerem Shalom crossing.
The crossing and Kibbutz Kerem Shalom were targeted by mortars and rockets throughout the war.
Israeli envoy demands UN probe Hamas war crimes
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations submitted a request to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council Wednesday to investigate war crimes carried out by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.
Ambassador Ron Prosor said in a message accompanying the petition that the UN recognizes the action of Hamas as war crimes, but nothing has been done about it.
The documents submitted contain detailed lists of rockets fired at Israel, intending to show Hamas’s intentional targeting of Israeli civilians, according to a report in Israeli news site NRG.
The lists itemize where the rockets were shot from, their type and what Israel says their intended target was.
Prosor’s request also details each time Hamas fighters fired rockets into Israel from civilian areas inside the Gaza Strip.
Ya'alon and Gantz: We'll Hit Hamas Again if We Have To
Ya'alon said that Israel had acted "in a determined and uncompromising manner, and if we have to do it again, we will do it and deal an even heavier blow to Hamas."
“Even in difficult moments we knew we were doing the right thing - restoring peace and security to the citizens of Israel,” added the Defense Minister.
Gantz said that the IDF acted "using capabilities that were developed over the years."
"The military action supported the political action," stated Gantz. "Hamas knows it and feels it as do, unfortunately, the people of Gaza who have been taken hostage."
62 soldiers wounded in Gaza still hospitalized
Sixty-two soldiers who were wounded during Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip remain hospitalized in various medical facilities nationwide, including at the Sheba, Soroka, Hadassah, and Rambam hospitals.
Seven soldiers are in serious condition, while some 40 others have begun their rehabilitation process at the Beit Loewenstein Rehabilitation Center in central Israel.
Five civilians injured as a result of the fighting are still hospitalized as well: one is in serious condition, three are in moderate condition and one has begun his rehabilitation process.
According to the Health Ministry, hospitals nationwide have treated 2,354 Israelis who were wounded during the operation. The ministry noted that 2,500 Israelis suffering from anxiety sought the help of mental health crisis centers.
Wounded IDF Soldier: I Fought for All Jewish People, Not Just Israelis (INTERVIEW)
An Israeli soldier, seriously wounded in Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, told The Algemeiner in a recent interview that he considers his sacrifice to have been on behalf of all Jewish people and not just Israelis.
Sergeant ‘R’, who has spent weeks so far recovering at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, said he fought on behalf of world Jewry “because I know Israel is for the Jewish people. That’s all the Jewish people really have.”
‘R’ served in the Aleph Arayot platoon of the 188th Armored Brigade’s 53rd Battalion as a tank scout, clearing the way and directing the IDF’s heavy battlefield armor.
Majority of Israelis Think Israel Didn't Win Gaza Operation
The poll, which was conducted by Shiluv Millward Brown and iPanel for the Hebrew-language Channel 2 news site, found that a full 59% of Israelis felt Israel did not win in Operation Protective Edge. A paltry 29% said the operation was an Israeli victory.
A decisive majority of the public, 54%, opposed the ceasefire which Netanyahu unilaterally sealed with the terrorist organization Hamas, using a technically to avoid putting the deal up for a Security Cabinet vote. Only 37% supported the ceasefire.
Clearly the disappointment is not directed at the IDF, which 83% of the public said it was satisfied with - instead Israelis apparently are severely dissatisfied with the political echelon, and Netanyahu at its head.
Netanyahu's approval rating nose-dived to a mere 32% in the poll, with a full 59% saying they were not satisfied with him.
Bennett: We'll Settle the Score with Abbas and Hamas
Bennett noted that the truth is simple: "Hamas brought death and unprecedented destruction on its people. We were exposed to an enemy that sanctifies killing: the killing of soldiers, killing a four-year-old boy, killing innocent people, a systematic education towards killing. Hamas was elected democratically by the Palestinians. Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority, is sitting in a unity government with Hamas, pays the salaries of murderers and is responsible for what we experienced here. We will settle the score with him as well.”
"The illusion of the Palestinian state evaporated in the Gaza tunnels,” he continued. "The illusion of returning to the pre-1967 lines flew away with the missiles that were fired towards us from the pre-1967 lines, to which we withdrew in the Disengagement.”
"In the world of the Islamic State and Hamas, Hezbollah and the PLO, there is no alternative to strength, and there is no forgiveness for withdrawals and running away, and all those who are still in favor of a Palestinian state should say: I saw it, I was wrong, I corrected myself. We are not afraid of a long path. What was not achieved today will be achieved next time. It's time to raise our heads and be proud of what we are. We will remain strong, we have no other choice.”
Europe must take on bigger role in Israel-Palestinian conflict, says France's Hollande
French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that Europe had to play a bigger role to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and could no longer just play the role of a "bank window" for reconstruction after each war.
The European Union is the biggest aid donor to the Palestinian Authority and Israel's biggest economic partner, accounting for almost a third of its exports and imports. However, it is deemed as having little influence in efforts to reach a negotiated solution between both sides.
"For a solution to finally be reached, the United States' role will be decisive," Hollande said in an annual speech to French diplomats outlining foreign policy objectives.
"But Europe's role is as important. It must act more. Europe does a lot to rebuild and develop Palestine, but it can't simply just be a bank window where we turn to heal the wounds after a recurring conflict."
Man Threatens to Murder Children Due to Israel-Hamas Conflict
An Ohio school was placed on lockdown Wednesday after a man with a “heavy accent” phoned the school and threatened to murder children with an AK-47 due to the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to local police.
All schools in Pickerington, Ohio, were placed on lockdown after an unknown man made a threatening call to the Pickerington North High School, Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon.
The man, who claimed to have an AK-47, said he planned to launch an attack on the school and kill students over his apparent anger at the Middle East conflict, Phalen said.
“The school received a call [at around 11:15 a.m.] from a male with a heavy accent and he indicated that he was going to attack Pickerington North due to attacks on Israel and was going to kill the kids and that he had an AK-47 gun,” Phalen recounted.
“He identified himself as ‘Mohammed Shehad,’” or something similar to that, and claimed to live in the area, Phalen said, explaining that those who fielded the call were unsure precisely what last name the man provided.
UN Sends First Convoy From Egypt to Gaza Since 2007
A United Nations humanitarian aid convoy crossed into Gaza from Egypt on Wednesday, for the first time since Israel imposed a security blockade on the Hamas-ruled terror haven in 2007. Egypt since last year has imposed a siege of its own on Gaza.
The World Food Program (WFP) said the convoy, which entered Gaza through the Rafah Crossing, carried enough food to last 150,000 people for five days. As part of the ceasefire deal reached Tuesday night, Egypt agreed to ease passage through the Rafah Crossing.
"It is extremely important that we have access to the Gaza Strip to ensure a constant flow of humanitarian supplies to meet the growing needs of the people affected by the recent violence," said Mohamed Diab, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe.
The convoy was carrying 15,650 food parcels, including ready-to-eat canned meat, canned beans, tea and dates, according to a statement from the UN agency in Geneva. Another 10,000 parcels are to be delivered in the next few days.
Khaled Abu Toameh: PA to tell UN: Force Israel out of W. Bank, or we'll seek war crimes charges in The Hague
A senior Fatah official announced on Thursday that the PLO would submit an application to the United Nations Security Council next month demanding a “timetable” for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
Nabil Sha’ath, a former PA foreign minister and negotiator, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that the Arab League would meet on September 5 to discuss how to support the Palestinian move.
Sha’ath said that the Palestinian application would be submitted to the Security Council on September 15.
He warned that if the request if turned down, the PLO would approach the International Criminal Court with a request to hold Israeli leaders accountable for “war crimes” during Operation Protective Edge.
Hamas Vows to Re-Arm for “Devastating Battle of Liberation”
The Iran-backed terror organization Hamas is already broadcasting strong signals that it has no interest in peace and is gearing up for its next war against Israel.
The Izzadin Al-Qassam Brigades tweeted (Arabic link):
"We won, and swore by Allah that we will continue to dig (tunnels), and create more (rockets), and recruit thousands more, and develop thousands of weapons and we recharge the mortars and weapons towards the coming devastating battle of liberation."
Hamas leaders bicker over cease-fire with Israel
The schism inside Hamas has intensified as a result of the open-ended cease-fire between Israel and the organization, Palestinian officials said on Wednesday.
Tuesday's Egyptian-sponsored cease-fire, announced after 50 days of on-and-off fighting with Israel, has had the Gaza leadership locking horns with its Qatar-based political bureau. A senior Palestinian official said Wednesday that Hamas' Gaza leaders were critical of Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal over his intransigence during the Cairo-led cease-fire talks. The official said this was a source of great frustration for the Gaza leaders, who believed Mashaal tried to derail any long-term truce that incorporated Egypt's proposed terms. They further noted that unlike Mashaal, they had to answer the criticism Gazans were sounding over Hamas' conduct throughout the operation.

Hamas Head Khaled Mashaal Sees Ceasefire as 'Hamas Failure'
Hamas is split over the cease-fire with Israel, a report in Israel Hayom said Thursday. According to the report, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, who lives in Qatar and is close to the heads of the government there, is sorely disappointed with the deal, and considers it a “Hamas failure,” the report said.
Mashaal and those in his faction inside Gaza have not reacted publicly to the announcement of the cease-fire, and did not participate in the demonstrations celebrating Hamas' “victory” in Gaza Wednesday. During those demonstrations, Hamas Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh proclaimed the victory, claiming that Hamas had only agreed to the cease-fire after “inflicting a defeat” on Israel.
Hamas leader Haniyeh reportedly hospitalized in Gaza after emerging from bunker
Ismail Haniyeh, Khaled Mashaal's top deputy and the former head of the Hamas regime in Gaza, was rushed to hospital on Wednesday shortly after emerging from hiding during the seven-week-long Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip, according to Channel 2.
The news of Haniyeh’s hospitalization was first reported by Channel 2’s Arab affairs analyst Ehud Yaari. There is no word yet regarding the Hamas leader’s condition or the reason that he needed medical attention.
Arab media outlets quoted the son of Hamas’ deputy political bureau chief, Abed a-Salam Haniyeh, as denying rumors that his father was hospitalized. According to reports, Haniyeh said his father was in Shifa Hospital in Gaza City visiting Palestinians who were wounded during the Israeli bombardment.
Hamas Negotiator Attacked, Both Legs Broken
It’s tough to be a Hamas negotiator. If your coworkers and friends are unsatisfied, you can get fired, literally.
Amad Al-Almi, a senior Hamas official who represented Gaza in Cairo during the negotiations with Israel, returned to Gaza, to what seems to be some unsatisfied friends and coworkers.
Al-Almi’s fellow Hamas terrorists and other attacked him and broke both his legs, according to Channel 2′s Ehud Ya’ari.
Al-Almi is believed to also be the Iranian representative within Hamas.
Turkey Hosting at Least 12 Hamas Operatives
At least 12 Hamas operatives, including a senior leader and others convicted of murder, have enjoyed safe haven in Turkey, a country that regional experts say is quickly becoming “a very hospitable environment” for Hamas terrorists to plan operations.
Turkey’s ties to Hamas have come under scrutiny in recent weeks after it came to light that a senior Hamas leader accused of planning the kidnapping of three Israeli teens is being sheltered in the country with the government’s knowledge.
In addition to top Hamas official Saleh Al-Arouri, Turkey has provided shelter to at least 11 other Hamas militants, two of whom have murdered Israelis and are known to the Turkish authorities, according to data published by the Palestinian National Information Center.
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: The Gaza Experience Should Be Repeated in the West Bank and Jerusalem

Hamas Leader Ismail Haniya: "The Battle Began and Ended with the Shelling of Haifa"

Media are Hamas’s main strategic weapons, says visiting US historian
Western news organizations have failed to see and understand Hamas’s media strategy as part of a long global jihad war, argued historian Dr. Richard Landes.
In a talk in Jerusalem on Tuesday at the Israel Center, Dr. Richard Landes, the director and co-founder of the Center of Millennial Studies at Boston University, said that “global jihad is waging a cognitive war against the West because they cannot win on the battlefield.”
He traced the “long war” to the recruitment strategies of Osama bin Laden and Hamas in the time of the second intifada.
The conflicts against Hamas and other jihadi organizations help to explain the asymmetrical approach of jihadi organizations, he said.
Financial Times correspondent John Reed declares Hamas a ‘winner’
Reed: "Before Protective Edge, Gaza’s ruling Islamist movement was in a corner. It was politically isolated, bankrupt, unable to pay its civil servants and forced by circumstances to reconcile with arch-rival Fatah."
And, after the war, Hamas is politically isolated, bankrupt, and still unable to pay its civil servants. Further, the current ceasefire deal which Hamas agreed to is almost exactly like the one Egypt proposed (which Israel accepted) but Hamas rejected on July 15, one week into the conflict, before the IDF destroyed their terror tunnels, and killed some of their top leaders.
Hamas’s decision to reject the July 15th proposal represented a colossal miscalculation, and resulted in more Hamas fighters killed, a much greater depletion of their rocket capacity, and no perceivable military, strategic or political benefit.
An appeal to Owen Jones: don’t associate with anti-Semites
We welcome these statements from supporters of the Palestinian cause, just as we previously welcomed PSC’s rejection of the equation of Israel with Nazi Germany. And because we consider these statements to be important and necessary, we hope and expect that the people who made them will live up to their words and the sentiments behind them.
It is for this reason that we appeal to PSC and to Owen Jones to reconsider the inclusion of Tim Llewellyn as a speaker at a PSC meeting tomorrow evening, 28th August, on “Gaza: let down by the BBC and mainstream media?” We appeal to PSC as the organiser of the meeting and to Jones as one of the other speakers.
Our objection is not to the meeting itself. We do not oppose your right to hold public meetings in support of the Palestinians, or to criticise Israel, or to critique media coverage of the conflict between the two.
Our objection is specifically to the inclusion of Llewellyn as a guest speaker on this topic because he has a record of statements that illustrate exactly what Jones warns against: themes “of Jews being aliens, lacking loyalty to their countries, acting as parasites, wielding disproportionate influence.”
Daily Mail admits error in its clumsy anti-Israel narrative
On 6 August I complained to the Press Complaints Commission about the Daily Mail publishing a photograph of an Israeli home with the caption 'Palestinians who sheltered in UN-run schools began returning to examine the widespread damage from four weeks of fierce fighting.' As you can see from the communication below the Daily Mail has acknowledged the error and corrected the caption in its online edition (for reasons of confidentiality I have removed the names of the PCC spokesman and the Daily Mail editorial spokesman, but interestingly both have Jewish names and the latter sounds Israeli!).
BBC’s WHYS promotes Gaza interviewee with a penchant for antisemitic imagery
The August 26th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘World Have Your Say’ purported to discuss what it described as the “Gaza Truce” as though nothing at all has happened in neighbouring Israel during the past 50 days and more. Presenter Ben James hosted a number of interviewees during the programme (available here) including the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Kevin Connolly, the Jerusalem Post’s Lahav Harkov, Shoshanna Jaskoll, Dr Bassel Abu Warda of Shifa hospital and Xavier Abu Eid of the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department.WHYS stand alone item
But James’ star guest – and the one to which the programmes editors elected to devote a stand-alone item on their website – was Farah Baker; a sixteen year-old girl from Gaza City who has during the last seven weeks been extensively courted and promoted by the international media (including BBC Radio One’s ‘Newsbeat’ programme aimed at younger audiences) due to her activity on Twitter.
One might assume that before a potential interviewee whose only qualification for talking about international affairs is that she Tweets personal views was put on air, producers would take a look at the relevant Twitter account in order to check out what they were actually amplifying and promoting. Farah Baker Tweets under the handle @Farah_Gazan and in her profile uses an offensive comparison of herself to Anne Frank.

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